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A lot of talk about George Will

I would never have expected so much discussion regarding George Will when it comes to global warming. While he is incredibly intelligent, he is hardly a person that one would describe as being an expert at global warming. It is amazing that when this political commenter says, “Real calamities take our minds off hypothetical ones. Besides, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare.” and the comment results in multiple articles and arguments from scientists and laypersons about how he is wrong.

But, maybe, that is the point now. Perhaps the discussion of global warming has evolved to the point that it is beyond the scientific discussion. While this site (and many, many others) have tried to explain a variety of technical details of global warming – I find that many of my articles lately are discussing politics and politicians.

With the current economic mess, it is hard to worry about 20-40 years from now when most people are worried how they are going to pay their bills today and how they are going to retire in a couple of decades. I offer this quote from NixGuy (a political commentary site that I enjoy):

Makes sense to me. Hard to get all worked about the world heating up when youre freezing, you just payed $950 to fill the propane tank, and you might not even have a job next week.

So what do we do? I suggest that we continue to discuss the scientific discoveries of environmental science. We do not accept that the debate is over. And we continue to contribute to the discussion of politics with the understanding that we are not arguing before a judge and jury where the facts and evidence are treated as the golden standard (we know what happens when judges rule on commentary of global warming). Instead we are arguing in a world of “beliefs”. The world where everything that one says should begin with “I believe that global warming is man-made” or “I believe that global warming is a natural cycle”. And like all beliefs – arguing them is like arguing religion.

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5 Responses to “A lot of talk about George Will”

  1. On the question of, have we been cooling for 10 years, the answer has a lot to do with what you do with 1998. That year was something of an anomoly temperature-wise. If you include it in the data because it happened so you can’t ignore it, then we have been cooling for 10 years and honest warming believers can’t deny that that counts as climate. But if you ignore 1998 (it’s fair to ignore an anomoly when you are looking at trends), then you have temperatures rising until about 1995, then a 10 year plateau, and a few years of slight cooling. Maybe a new trend, or maybe still a pause in the warming trend.

    The reason this is becoming more political and less scientific (as I think you’re aware and would agree) is that AGW has been hijacked by groups that think they can use it to further other agendas. As such, they cannot afford to wait until the science really is solid for the simple reason that they can’t take the chance the science will go against them. They have to get their programs in place now because they’ve worked too hard to let this moment get away from them.

    I note an especial panic this winter because it’s longer and colder than we’ve seen in a few years. What if it’s followed (as predicted) by a cold summer?

  2. As usual Tim, your comments are right on. Some very resourceful people saw a trend (either by by creating it or observing it – you choose) and invested their time and energy accordingly. This changes the landscape from a scientific discover and discussion to a political and economic one.

    I also wonder if the politicians see this as a way to hide a tax on us.

  3. Once anything has been drug into a political rathole and proves to be a lucrative political issue for our worse than worthless political parties you can just forget being able to pull it back out of the rathole so it can be dealt with factually and honestly.

    How many government payroll scientists are “pulling their punches” where climate change is concerned for fear for either their jobs or, at a minimum, loss of money to fund their research?

    How many otherwise good scientists have jumped on the AGW bandwagon hoping that doing so will better enable them to get research grant money from the various government agencies whose budgets are approved by Congress?

    Several years ago before this became a hot-button political issue, I thought I could place considerable trust in related articles that I read. I trusted the scientists to be scientists and to write articles that were scientifically accurate, relevant and based on the complete set of known facts and information. I have lost that trust.

    As is the case with anything that is made into a simple-minded, two-sided political debate, each side uses just those facts that they believe will provide them with a winning hand in the political debate while treating the rest of the facts as discards. No one in politics plays with a full deck on any political issue.

    Then there is the so-called United Nations and their Howdy-Doody minions, the IPCC. (I thought I would end this with an unfunny joke.)

  4. I think you are 100% correct, why has global warming become a political issue. Although politics are important to discuss at this point in our lives, we have to be able to separate politics from scientific facts! Great blog!

  5. the issue of global warming should be one removed away from the emotive politicking and celebritism, and focus on the facts. Scientific evidence SUPPORTS the fact that this globe’s climate is changing for the worse, your blog is spot on!

    As you said yourself, we need to discuss the scientific discoveries and go from there, which is why education about various regions of study for global warming should be a focus not just for the experts, but the general public as well.

    I came across a website about an expedition of the antarctic that is going to start this coming novemberhttp://www.transantarcticexpedition.com/expedition/. It’s aim is to do tests and educate the masses about global warming. Has anyone heard of it?