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I’d like to address, point by point, the latest Times (o’London) article concerning Al Gore’s comparison of AGW non-believers to Nazis. I cannot let this article go unanswered.
Please, this is important. It is this kind of comparison that engenders the true imprisonment of the Human mind. It must be stopped, fought, tooth and nail, or I fear that we will all fall into a period of zealotry that hasn’t destroyed a people since the time religious fundamentalism permanently crippled Middle Eastern science, mathematics, art and literature. Literally, 1000 years of darkness. And yeah, I’m sticking with that statement.
I’ll have to quote heavily from the article, because so many chilling things were said. I don’t at all suspect Mr. Gore was misquoted here:
He just loves to preach to the choir in Europe, and they are happy to publish his words as if they were from on high.
He [Gore] also accused politicians around the world of exploiting ignorance about the dangers of global warming to avoid difficult decisions.
Indeed, “exploiting ignorance” is a problem. Here’s an example: concluding that weather changes of any kind are due to human activity is “exploiting ignorance” about the long, extreme history of weather both in the 20th century, and on a geological timescale. On rare occasions on earth have temperatures even been so steady. Trends categorically “exploit ignorance” about weather. Trends assume a fictitious baseline. Weather, even weather under some sort of stress doesn’t follow trends; it is periodic in nature, with events of several different magnitudes and time scales interwoven, and that has always been the case. Mr. Gore and his AGW proponents use trends, the grandest trend of all being an overall warming trend, to make his case. Problem is, all these trends are now failing, (including the biggie, because of the cooling which occurred over the last decade), which flies in the face of the underlying assumptions about the connection (the trend) of excess CO2 (still rising), with rising absolute temperature.
This cannot be dismissed. When the underlying connection fails, the conclusions that arise from that connection fail. I am not a Nazi for pointing that out. I am a responsible scientist for pointing that out.
He added: “We have everything we need except political will but political will is a renewable resource.”
Well that’s a cute line. By “everything we need…” Mr. Gore means a preponderance of data, the appearance of consensus, and the moral high ground, I’m sure.
Problem is, mountains of data may be statistically correlated, but the cause-and-effect, the connection between human activity and a warming Earth may yet be coincidental. I have also noticed that quite a bit of data has been coming in a massaged form, or has been treat statistically in a way that is improper. Filling in arctic temperature data in polar Russia is always fun. Statistically deriving an average hurricane number is meaningless; hurricanes are discreet phenomena, they vary in size shape intensity over varying time periods in a variable season. No sufficient tacking program yet exists. They are wildly unpredictable, and yet are totally natural objects absolutely following physical law. This lends strength to the notion that our quantification is poor. Further examples of data manipulation and mistreatment are replete. It’s hard to build anything useful from such statistical neglect.
The appearance of consensus, even consensus itself is meaningless in science. I don’t care how many people shout 2 + 2 = 5 from the rooftops, it’s still incorrect. And the loner that whispers 2 + 2 = 4 from the street below isn’t the Nazi in this scene.
If the effects of human activity on climate are to be held true, they must be distinct (isolable) from natural weather phenomena, quantifiable, verifiable, non-falsifiable by unbiased observations, and the mechanism that connects the cause and effect must engender all the data, not some of the data. Finally, a good explanation doesn’t shift with incoming data, it should predict it.
Your friends-for-hire in the business of assembling a fine consensus are 0 for 5 on those counts. Color me unimpressed.
Mr. Gore’s “moral superiority” arises from the assumption that people are deleteriously affecting the planet, and that he alone is the man with the answers. That it’s naturally a position of moral high ground to claim that people are evil, simply by virtue of the fact that they have an impact on the world outside his purview, and must change their behavior.
He [Gore] said skeptics who refused to believe dramatic cuts in carbon emissions could be delivered should consider the example of the young scientists in the NASA team which put a man on the moon on 1969.
“The average age of scientists in the space centre control room was 26, which means they were 18 when they heard President Kennedy say he wanted to put a man on the moon in 10 years. Neil Armstrong did it eight years and two months later.”
First of all I DO believe that carbon emissions can be cut, drastically. All we have to do is go back to living like we did 100 years ago, or even further back we could take the lesson of the American Indian, and live in teepees. I simply submit that is not desirable, it may not even be necessary, and that Mr. Gore’s assertion that it is rings hollow to say the least, thanks to a complete lack of evidence that what is happening is 1) due to people, or 2) a bad thing. Such actions may even cause more problems than not.
And to take the lesson from those young men of average age 26 who wrought the Apollo lunar missions. The first thing they did was KILL THREE ASTRONAUTS by assuming that it would be a great way to save mass if they used pure oxygen in the capsule, neglecting the FACT that aluminum combusts in pure oxygen. One spark and the mission was doomed on the launching pad. This is what you get when you leave out people who know the physics and the chemistry of an atmosphere. After that, they didn’t make a move until every last detail about the mission was worked out, complete with EXACTING MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS, and LOGISTICS.
We WANT number-Nazis on the job. We don’t want people who can’t do math, and find their only option is politics and government funding to run those numbers. We’re dealing with the entire world’s economy, here. Action can wait for a well-laid plan.
Again, quoth Gore:
“It will either be ’what were you thinking, didn’t you see the North Pole melting before your eyes, didn’t you hear what the scientists were saying?’ Or they will ask ’how is it you were able to find the moral courage to solve the crisis which so many said couldn’t be solved?’.”
This is a false choice. I did see the North Pole losing ice over a number a years. I also see it coming back. I also see the South Pole gaining ice some years. Show me that this natural, seasonal process has something to do with human activity. I am asking that as a scientist that requires things like evidence and a traceable mechanism of action. No, simply claiming that rising CO2 is the source of our woes is not enough.
Moral courage, sir, is standing athwart a legion of well-funded, biased researchers, full presumption of a guilty Humankind tattooed across their forehead, demanding you bring something more than a weak claim from incomplete, poorly treated data, before you take possession of the world’s assets and functions.
I am not a Nazi, I am a scientist, and I do not have a following, but then again I don’t need one. You do. You, Mr. Gore, and your followers bear all those characteristics of fascism, not I. You silence intellectuals and other people, not I. You demand money, action and power by right of claim. It’s only a matter of time before your cronies wrest these things from others by brute force. You demand that certain people be marginalized. All the while, you claim righteousness and moral superiority as did Hitler and Mussolini. You spread your poison over Europe and threaten to do so everywhere else, not I.
You have become the enemy of America and the rest of the world, not its savior. The world should see what you have become, rise up and defeat you, for once and for good.