Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Earth Day

April 22, 2010

Today is Earth Day.  The fortieth one.  Forty years ago today, I attended my first (and only) rally.  It was the first Earth Day rally and was held at UCLA.  I was an idealistic teenager who was very aware and concerned about how we were treating our home planet.  In fact, I was a founding member of a club at my high school–ACT, for Attack Contamination Today.  The Earth Day rally at UCLA was very instructive.  I learned a lot that day.  But it was probably not what the promoters of the rally planned for me to learn.

The most important lesson that I learned 40 years ago is that “causes,”  like Earth Day environmentalism, are populated with a wide range of viewpoints, but most of the people involved lacked even the basic beginnings of wisdom.  I saw more “crazies” that day than I would have ever imagined.  The claims they were making were way over the top.  The demands were completely unrealistic.  After a while, I realized that the rally was just a waste of my time and I went home.

I believe that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our Earth.  We need to properly manage its resources.  We need to understand its complexities and how so many things on the Earth are interrelated.  But we also need to exercise wisdom in our stewardship.

The  current preoccupation with “global warming” or “climate change” is a perfect example.  Using very questionable computer models and also very unscientific “science,” the true believers in global warming are trying (and often succeeding) to change public policy.    Very little wisdom is demonstrated as leaders ignore basic scientific methods in favor of pushing a political agenda.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate the 40th Earth Day is to become more aware that truth is perhaps the most endangered species in today’s world.  When caring for and about the Earth, let’s remember that truth–the way things really are–needs to be honored as much as our commitment to care for our Earth.

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Global Warming (not Climate Change) Strikes Again

January 7, 2010

The United States is freezing.  Some of the coldest temperatures recorded in decades, if not ever.  Yet, the true believers are still preaching Climate Change.  Cap and Trade legislation is still a possibility after Congress attempts the governmental take over of the health care system.

The Al Gore-inspired frenzy is all based on computer models, not on observations.  The cold, hard facts are that the “global warming/climate change” disciples aren’t basing their cause on scientific observations, but on political and philosophical thought.

Last night, I started watching a TV program supposedly about natural wonders.  Here is the blurb:  “Globe Trekker Special: Great Natural Wonders Erupting volcanoes in Hawaii and Java; the Arctic; hiking the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; Victoria Falls.”  The part on volcanoes was very interesting and beautiful.  When it got to the Arctic segment, we had to turn it off.  It had almost nothing to do with the natural wonders and everything to do with the Gore agenda of doom.

I think it’s time to bring reason back to this arena.  The scientific method requires one to make a hypothesis, then gather facts through observations.  After the observations have been made, they are analyzed and then a conclusion is made.  The conclusion will either prove or disprove the hypothesis.  The process needs to be open and needs to be honest.  No hiding of facts that don’t support the hypothesis.  No conclusions based on questionable computer projections.

As Jack Webb’s Sergeant Friday never really said, “Just the facts, ma’am.  Just the facts.”  Let’s concentrate on the facts–the clearly observable facts.  Once we really know what is really happening, then we can decide what to do.

A Failed Launch for a Failed Idea

February 24, 2009
Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily News

Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily News

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) was launched this morning from Vandenburg Air Force Base.  I became aware of the launch on my way to work this morning.  The strange con trail patterns that you can normally see in the west after a launch were in the east, lit by the rising sun.  I don’t think I have ever seen the con trail drift all the way across the sky and still look like the original con trail.

The launch failed to deliver the OCO into orbit and everything came down in the ocean near Antarctica.  I can’t help but note the irony–a satellite meant to study global warming crashed to earth near the place where the ice is supposed to be melting, but is actually increasing.

Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) was developed to measure the amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  CO2 is the gas blamed for man-cause “global warming” or “climate change.”

Here is the mission explanation from the JPL website:

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) is a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Project (ESSP) mission designed to make precise, time-dependent global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from an Earth orbiting satellite.

CO2 is a critical component of the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the beginning of the industrial age, the concentration of CO2 has increased by about 38%, from about 280 parts per million to over 380 parts per million. Scientific studies indicate that CO2 is one of several gases that trap heat near the surface of the Earth. These gases are known as greenhouse gases. Many scientists have concluded that substantial increases in the abundance of CO2 will generate an increase in the Earth’s surface temperature. Historical records provide evidence of this trend, which is often called global warming. Current research indicates that continuing increases in atmospheric CO2 may modify the environment in a variety of ways. These changes may impact ocean currents, the jet stream and rain patterns. Some parts of the Earth might actually cool while the average temperature increases. Thus, a more correct term for this phenomenon is climate change.

I still wonder when the scientists without a bias will get some coverage in the press.  Instead of just taking man-caused global warming as a given, how about some real science.

Last weekend, we went to the newly remodeled California Academy of Sciences museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  Besides being way too expensive (and crowded), I was impressed with how they had just bought into the “Climate Change” mantra as an established fact.  Nevermind that the “science” behind it is as shaky as Jello in Parkfield, CA.

Earth Day 2008

April 22, 2008

I remember the first Earth Day. It was 1970. I was an idealistic high schooler who had always been concerned about the environment, even before it was a popular thing. I even got permission to put an Ecology Flag decal on the family’s station wagon.

Earth Day seemed like a great idea. A day to raise awareness about our stewardship of the Earth. I went to a rally at UCLA on the first Earth Day. Hundreds of people (maybe thousands) gathered to celebrate the Earth and to listen to “important” people saying “important” things. The one thing that impressed me (impressive enough that I still remember it 38 years later) was the lack of wisdom of most of the people that spoke. I can’t remember what was said, but I do remember how disappointed I was with the collective group. It was a case of all heat and no light. I think this might have been the beginning of my education in the school of “Good Ideas/Causes Hijacked by Fanatics,” with fanatics being “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.”

With a little age came a little wisdom. When I was able to combine knowledge, insight, and good judgment, I was able to better understand my personal commitment and stewardship of the Earth. I have a responsibility to make good choices. I need to act in a caring way that will minimize my impact on the environment. For example, in Scouting, we teach “Leave No Trace” methods of camping. The principles are really just based on being courteous–considerate of others and respectful of our surroundings. Summarized, Leave No Trace is behaving in a way so after you leave, no one knew you were there.

There is a big difference between caring for the Earth and worshiping the Earth. In many ways, I think was one of the big problems I saw at that first Earth Day celebration at UCLA in 1970 and a problem that continues today. The idea that God created the Earth for the use of man has been replaced with a large collection of ideas that basically center around man worshiping the Earth. Instead of looking at the Earth as a man’s gift from God with all the inherent responsibilities of taking good care of the gift, many today have reduced man’s position to just another creature that lives on the Earth–and one that is destroying its home.

The current headlines on global warning, climate change, or whatever the name-of-the-week it is called is another example of a good idea gone haywire. If wisdom is the correct application of knowledge, insight, and good judgment, there is very little wisdom being shown in the current preoccupation with climate change. The “inconvenient truth” is that, in spite of what Al Gore says, there is no scientific consensus that global warming will cause damaging climate change. It’s a fact that the Earth is warming. However, man’s role in that warming is only speculation. There is a big rush to use extremely questionable “facts” to make even worse decisions and public policy. It’s a case of bad “facts” leading to poor insights and questionable judgment.

Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, writes that “the typical cost of cutting a ton of CO2 is currently about $20. Yet, according to a wealth of scientific literature, the damage from a ton of carbon in the atmosphere is about $2. Spending $20 to do $2 worth of good is not smart policy. It may make you feel good, but it’s not going to stop global warming.” See this article in the Washington Post. Lomborg thinks that the proper public policy focus should be on reducing the impact AIDS, malaria, and famine—all greater killers than the threat of a warmer climate.

Let’s celebrate Earth Day + 38 by correctly applying knowledge, insight and judgment in all the decisions that we make relating to caring for this beautiful planet for which that God has given us a stewardship.

More “Inconvienent” Truths about Climate Change

March 4, 2008

Check out the opening comments by Joseph L. Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change–click here.

The conference got some press because the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, said that Nobel Laureate Al Gore and others who sell carbon credits should be sued for fraud.

While I normally am not an advocate of law suits, this one might be quite entertaining, as well as informative.  Wouldn’t you love to see full, unbiased reporting on climate change?