Monday, May 28, 2007

Cosmic Rays and Climate Change.

Dave Springer has a thread at Uncommon Descent, based on the work of Henrik Svensmark, who claims his data show that cosmic rays are a significant contributor to global warming. It seems, however that the data have been "corrected" so that the data fit with Svensmark's hypothesis.

What puzzles me is why Dave promotes denial-ism of global warming so enthusiastically. I know he has family. Is there no doubt or concern for the future that would cause him to try and consider evidence objectively rather than source and promote any article that is sceptical of human contribution to climate change? I would really like to know what is wrong with attempting to reduce carbon emissions by conserving fossil fuels? As I have remarked before, Pascal's wager is the best policy. If we are wrong about fossil fuel, but reduce emissions anyway, the air is still cleaner, fuel stocks are available for future use, whereas if we delay and the prophets of doom are right and climate change becomes unstoppable...

16 comments:

blipey said...

The answer is, of course, that there is nothing wrong with reducing carbon emissions. DaveScot, along with his cronies Joe G., Ftk, Crandaddy, et al can't separate, define, or practice any of the following disciplines: politics, science, ethics, morality, and education.

If they could, they would realise the importance of making case by case decisions based on observation. Since all of the above things are one in their minds, they toe whatever they think the party line is. The party line is that global warming isn't happening, or if it is, it isn't a bad thing.

The best possible resolution to this situation is to teach our students to think for themselves. If we are successful in that, perhaps politicians won't be able to bullshit as much, science-deniers will be even more of a minority, and the general populace will lead better lives.

Of course, this is where the battle is fought. I don't believe that the "ID/Creo vs. Science" fight is really about any of those things. At its core, it is a fight about how we teach our kids. Sure, each side would like to "win" on the details, but to the IDers or GW deniers, the fight is really about winning the chance to be a guru, to have your teachings and your ideas held up as special--a small grasp at immortality.

Alan Fox said...

Hi Blipey,

Hope the acting is going well. Shame you didn't get to meet the Ubertard.

DaveScot, along with his cronies Joe G., Ftk, Crandaddy, et al

Is FtK a denier? I didn't notice her comment on it. There are quite a few pro-ID types who disagree with Dave on his position on global warming, Larry and John Davison, for example.

Dave has "jumped the shark" (is that the right expression and context) with his rants on global warming. Using the platform of UD conflates the two nicely and undermines any residual scientific credibility that some may still grant to the site.

I seem to remember you commenting elsewhere about those to whom the truth is secondary to the political agenda, whereas innocent schmuks like me and you assume the point of a debate is to learn something new and exchange ideas.

I am sure you are right that improving and broadening education is the long term solution to your (i.e. US) (and consequently everyone's) problem. I guess you need an electable political party to have this as a central tenet of their policy if this is going to happen.

blipey said...

Is FtK a denier? I didn't notice her comment on it.

Good catch; I did not mean to imply that she had. I am also unaware of her specific stance on the issue of GW. I was unfortunately typing without my filter on. Somehow I was lumping GW and general science-denial together in that paragraph even though I shouldn't have been.

As for an electable political party with education as a central tenet--I don't hold out a lot of hope. It's just not that important an issue to most Americans. Sure, we give lip service to it, but when it gets down to actually funding education (teacher salaries, personal property taxes, etc) we don't often vote pro-education.

Jumping the shark may not be quite hte right phrase. Though it certainly is in the ballpark. It refers to a TV show that just did something inane (writing, stunt-casting, something) in order to retain viewers ans was never the same again.

I'm not sure Dave's GW is a ratings stunt or not. In either case, he certainly accomplished nothing of merit by harping on it.

Chris Hyland said...

The answer is fairly easy. To reduce carbon emissions people have to change their lifestyles and they don't want to, so they convince themselves it isn't a problem.

Larry Fafarman said...

Alan,

You still have not removed your posts from the membership list of the Association of Non-Censoring Bloggers. Because of my no-censorship policy, I would feel more comfortable if you did it than if I did it.

Alan Fox said...

Larry,

I see no reason to delete any posts, as they show the chronological order of events. If you wish to erase evidence of this episode, you are entirely at liberty to delete anything from your own blog. This does indeed call into question, however, your claim to be a non-censoring blogger.

Over to you.

Larry Fafarman said...

Alan said,

>>>>> I see no reason to delete any posts <<<<<

Well, I see a reason to delete your posts. The membership list was intended only for listing current members and was not intended for leaving comments, showing a "chronological order of events," or listing former members. In fact, after you posted your first comment on the list, I added the request,

Please do not leave comments on this list. This list is intended to be used only for the listing of members. Comments should be left on the "Overview" page or other appropriate page of this website. There is one comment that is already here and I am going to leave it here.

Calling myself a non-censoring blogger does not mean that I do not have the right to set reasonable rules. However, I will reluctantly respect your wishes and leave your posts in the list.

Voice said...

I will reluctantly respect your wishes and leave your posts in the list.

What has happened? Larry is acting as if he has principles. He has even re-posted something that he had censored on his blog.

It was quite irrelevant to most of the issues on his blog except for pointing out that it is suspicious why someone with Jewish parents would be a holocaust revisionist.

I do not expect this to last.

Voice said...

It didn't last long. Larry has returned to his censorship. He has deleted a post and then referred to it. What a fraud.

Rich Hughes said...

Hey alan, can I use your neutral venue to use with a creationist type?

PM me on AtBC if you get this.

Alan Fox said...

Sure, Rich.

(PZ advises caution)

Joe G said...

Can anyone show me that a warmer planet is a bad thing?

Does anyone else realize that without greenhouse gasses we would live(?) on a frigid planet?

I agree, by all means cut the pollution. But what about the 3rd world countries that have the fossil fuel resources? How do we tell them they cannot touch them?

Who is going to pay for those countries to be supplied with non-fossil fuel?

I am firmly against pollution. I am for a green planet.

However say we switch to hydrogen fuel cells. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. Not only that but if we get the hydrogen from a source other than water we have that means we are adding to that existing water table.

Think about millions of hydrogen fuel cells dumping illions of gallons of water and water vapor onto our planet and into our atmosphere on a daily basis.

BTW clowny- there isn't any ID/ Creo vs Science fight. What you call "science" really isn't...

Alan Fox said...

Can anyone show me that a warmer planet is a bad thing?

One example:

Rising sea levels will have a catastrophic impact world-wide.

Alan Fox said...

Does anyone else realize that without greenhouse gasses we would live(?) on a frigid planet?

Yes, Joe. So your reasoning is, greenhouse effect is good, so more greenhouse effect is better?

Alan Fox said...

I agree, by all means cut the pollution.

Good show!

But what about the 3rd world countries that have the fossil fuel resources? How do we tell them they cannot touch them?

Who is going to pay for those countries to be supplied with non-fossil fuel?


China is often cited as a country (large and increasing population, developing and industrialising rapidly, huge coal reserves) that will be hard to convince about the merits of reducing carbon emissions, but they have already adopted more stringent controls on vehicle exhaust gases, for example, than currently apply in the USA.

Alan Fox said...

I am firmly against pollution. I am for a green planet.

That's encouraging. We agree on this, at least.

However say we switch to hydrogen fuel cells. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. Not only that but if we get the hydrogen from a source other than water we have that means we are adding to that existing water table.

Think about millions of hydrogen fuel cells dumping illions of gallons of water and water vapor onto our planet and into our atmosphere on a daily basis.


I am not sure you have thought this through, Joe. The amount of water vapour in air is a function of pressure and temperature, when the pressure and/or temperature of moisture saturated air falls, you get precipitation (it rains/snows/hails). Producing additional water by burning hydrogen which has been extracted from a non-water source (any suggestions for a practical process?) will make not one jot of difference. Only the vapour that the atmosphere will support will evaporate, any excess remaining as liquid water.