The BIG LIE of the giant oil companies

With gas prices in the United States topping $4.00 a gallon in some places, we are now being told that to reduce prices we must drill in more places which oil companies have previously been restricted from going to, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_National_Wildlife_Refuge

Never mind that people generally condemn such vices as greed and selfishness, that are clearly represented by the desire to drill in such natural places when there are already alternatives available. Even if we had a huge increase in oil supply resulting from such drilling, there is no legal obligation in the United States for the oil companies to reduce their gas prices to the levels one would expect. Since there are only a few major oil companies, it would be a simple matter for them to conspire to keep the gas prices relatively high to enrich themselves further. 

Prices can be determined by both supply and demand. So if we really want gas prices to fall, the surest way to do that is to REDUCE DEMAND for the gas. We can do that by abandoning the gas-burning cars that are currently most popular and replace them over many years with hybrids, or better still with cars with fuel cells that burn no gas at all. Then there are the “electric cars”.  With the concern about greenhouse gases, we need to put pressure on the giant auto manufacturers to END production of standard gas burning cars completely. They are OBSOLETE!

It’s better to do that than allow the oil companies to continue to rape the Earth’s environments, and screw the people with high prices at the same time!

More angry than ever at denialists

Most global warming denialists I’m familiar with are old people who are set in their ways. Such people are most vulnerable to confirmation bias. Younger adults, on the other hand, are not so attracted or attached to dogma.

I, Dale Husband, along with many others, stand for my chosen causes because I beleive in doing what’s right, regardless of whether I get paid for it or not. And it’s not just global warming either. I have also fought for teaching evolution and to get rid of the Bush regime and anything like it from corrupting America more.

I oppose denialists because they appeal to ingrained prejudices based on what certain people WANT to believe, regardless of the actual facts. The big oil companies, including Exxon, certainly feel threatened by the facts about global warming. The idea that we humans are messing up the Earth with greenhouse gases which will lead to global disaster within a century or two is indeed offensive to people’s egos, because it means they and their descendants must make radical changes to their lifestyles to stop the damage THEY THEMSELVES WILL HAVE HELPED CAUSE. So instead, they LOOK for reasons to deny the truth about themselves and what is happening. People who claim to be experts will then put out fallacious claims all over the internet knowing desparate people are out there to grab it and spread it around. They play their victims like an instrument, really. That is the real scam, not what Al Gore and the IPCC do. Uncertainty about the facts is no excuse for denying them. And noting that the effects of global warming can have natural causes is no excuse for denying outright that man plays a role in that phenomenon. Those are logical fallacies and I will oppose, expose and depose them every time I see them, because I WANT THE HUMAN RACE TO SURVIVE INDEFINITLY! And being able to foresee the downfall of humanity (and global warming is but one cause for profound concern here) and not doing anything about it because you let yourself be misled by people that only live for this present reality is the worst form of nonsense I can imagine.

The “EXPELLED” of Global Warming Denialism

Last year, a documentary was made titled, “The Great Global Warming Swindle” which seemed to be a direct rebuttal to Al Gore’s film “An Inconvinient Truth”. I have just seen that documenary and quite simply, it is a load of CRAP!
There are several things blatantly wrong with it.

  1. The film asserts, without any actual evidence, that the Medieval Warm Period was indeed warmer than today. For the explanation of that assumption and its refutation, go here:  https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/debunking-the-mwp-myth/
  2. The film nowhere mentions the planet Venus, yet it is there that the power of the greenhouse effect, which the film seems to deny, becomes most obvious. Venus, on both its day and night sides, is far hotter than the day side of Mercury, which is much closer to the Sun! Although the clouds of Venus shield the planet’s surface from most of the sunlight, the atmosphere, which is mostly carbon dioxide (CO2), traps the little heat that gets through.
  3. The film indicates that there was one obscure scientist that claimed that the greenhouse gases could cause global warming in the 1970s and that he was ridiculed by most scientists at the time. This is simply a lie! In fact, the relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperatures was understood by most scientists since the 1900s.  The scientist who discovered it was world famous, even winning the 1903 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  His name was Svante Arrhenius. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect_as_cause_for_ice_ages   http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=5971  http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1903/arrhenius-lecture.html http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Arrhenius_pdf
  4. The film claims that “all the climate change models” predicted that the temperatures of the lower atmosphere would be less than the upper atmosphere and that the discovery that this was not the case falsified the models. But this is flatly contradicted by a statement in Al Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth”. He said, “Global warming heats the lower atmosphere but actually cools the stratosphere…”  This makes sense when you realize that CO2 is heavier than the nitrogen and oxygen that make up most of the Earth’s atmosphere, and therefore would tend to be lower in the atmosphere. An increase in the proportion of CO2 would only be felt closer to the ground, not farther from it.
  5. The film claims that water vapor is a far more important greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But that is not true, because water vapor forms clouds that actually block sunlight and thus act to cool the Earth, providing a counter to the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. By contrast, CO2 never forms clouds and thus can ONLY be a greenhouse gas.
  6. The film claims that the global warming movement was started by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a way of promoting nuclear power at the expense of fossil fuels. This is nonsense, because while nuclear power may not release greenhouse gases, it causes other types of pollution and has its own grave risks, plus like fossil fuels it is nonrenewable.
  7. The film claims that efforts to wean poor countries in Africa off fossil fuels and onto solar energy is harmful to their well-being. Never mind the fact that depending on fossil fuels would require an unlimited number of monthly payments to the big energy companies. But using solar panels, however expensive they may be at first, would only require a one-time payment. Plus, efforts to mass produce solar panels would eventually drive their costs down, if only the big energy companies would permit it. And there is an entire vast region, the Sahara Desert, where millions of solar panels could be built and maintained to supply most of Africa with energy.

Need I go on?

Conspiracy theories, credible and incredible

For any conspiracy to succeed, there are several conditions that may be required:

  1. The participants must be as few as possible.
  2. The conspiracy must be of as short a duration as possible.
  3. The conspiracy must be extremely secretive.

Condition 3 relies on the first two, as indicated in the proverb, “Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

Thus, the commonly held 9-11 conspiracy theory that many government officials under the Bush Administration were directly involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is far less credible than the idea that a few dozen operatives of Al-Qaeda were responsible. Likewise, it is far more credible that Exxon and its operatives have been planting misleading claims about global warming in the popular press and various blogs over the past couple of decades than that thousands of scientists have been misleading people about global warming since 1896, when Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius first identified the heat retaining properties of carbon dioxide (called “carbonic acid” in Arrhenius’ paper referred to below).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/1/18/Arrhenius.pdf

People make up conspiracy theories to explain what could be responsible for something they happen to dislike. The “theory” could be more properly considered a hypothesis in science. The problem comes when these people do not take the next step in the scientific method, which is to test the idea via observation or experiment. Instead, they proclaim the conspiracy theory as DOGMA and proceed to interpret all evidence according to that dogma, despite never finding any direct evidence to confirm the theory. Then they abandon all willingness to allow the claim to be disproven.

You can’t do science that way! Just because a theory claims to explain something doesn’t mean it is true. You must ultimately rule out all other possibilities before stating something questionable to be FACT.

A fake expert vs real ones on global warming

A global warming denialist known as Judy Cross has been storming the web community Care2 for over a year, posting propaganda on her beliefs. Here’s an example of her rantings:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/185088952/752943

“This is a lucid, logical, well-researched 32-page doc, compiled by long time IPCC expert reviewer, Dr Vincent Gray, explaining why the current claims of man-made global warming are a “global scam”. ”

http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/warmingscam1505.pdf

Oh, really? Well, I proceeded to dismantle the credibility of that paper.

Continue reading

Natural selection and the scientific peer review process

Natural selection describes the process by which variations in a population of organisms are edited over time to enhance the ability of the individual organisms to survive and reproduce in an environment. Even if over 90% of all mutations, being random, are harmful to the next generation, natural selection can still eliminate those and keep those others that are beneficial, thus countering the destructive effects of mutations in general.

It is the same with the scientific peer review process. Because science has made so much progress over the past few centuries, most people have the impression that scientists are unusually brilliant, nearly infallible, and totally objective in their views and methods. But in fact, that is simply not the case for most of them, at least as individuals. Scientists can be just as mistaken, corrupt, dogmatic, and failing in their efforts and assumptions as the rest of humanity. A few of them can even be downright stupid!

If that is true, how can science be trusted to produce reliable facts and theories? Because the scientists use peer review as their means to test any new ideas put on the table by one of their number. No scientist’s word need be taken at face value. In order for his idea to be accepted as anything beyond a speculation, he must show observational or experimental data, clearly defined, that supports it. Thus, it should always be possible for other scientists to duplicate the results of the first scientist making the claim. If attempts to duplicate the observations or experiments do not produce the same result, the idea is rejected.

Sometimes the peer review process goes too far in its skepticism, and a valid idea, such as continental drift, is rejected and even ridiculed by scientists even though it explains all the data collected and is contradicted by none of it. But that’s why repeated testing of that idea is required, as long as it is not outright falsified. Continental drift WAS accepted in the 1960s once an overwhelming amount of evidence was found to support it and those geologists who had been bigoted against it in the 1920s had died or retired, and a new generation had arisen that was more open-minded. Those who supported the continental drift theory were able to come up with a mechanism, plate tectonics, that explained it, and once they did opposition to it faded away rapidly.

Individual scientists may fall so deeply in love with their own ideas that they refuse to accept the peer review process when it rejects their ideas. Then they become cranks who no longer do science, but instead put out propaganda to appeal to the scientifically illiterate. This is especially true of Creationists and global warming denialists who happen to have science degrees. They even go so far as to attack the peer review process itself! But it must be noted that they can never produce anything that would produce superior results in terms of seeking objective data in the universe and explaining it.

Scientists who refuse to recognize that an idea of theirs is wrong are like a population of organisms that are too specialized in their lifestyle to adapt to any sudden change in their environment, resulting in their extinction. Fortunately, the progress of science continues even in spite of such incidents, just as life on Earth has continued despite the mass extinctions that have wiped out most species that evolved on Earth before.

Debunking the MWP Myth

2000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a time of increased warmth that is recorded in the history of the North Atlantic region from about 800 AD to 1300 AD. During this period, the extent of the Arctic ice cap was considerably less than today. The purpose of this blog is not to deny the reality of the MWP nor to reject the historical facts associated with it. However, global warming denialists have claimed that because the ice sheets of the Arctic were less extensive than today, the MWP must have been warmer than today and thus there is no reason to think that the current warming period, thought to be caused by man-made greenhouse gases, is in any way unusual. Indeed, they even claim that the readings from scientists indicating that the temperatures of the MWP were lower than today were faked in an effort to deny or cover up the MWP. Thus, I feel it necessary to demonstrate the absurdity of such assumptions.

Let us do an experiment. We take two identical bowls filled with pure water and place them in a freezer. After the water is completely frozen in both bowls, they are removed from the freezer and one, labled “A”, is placed in a refrigerator, while the other, labled “B” is placed on the kitchen table. After about an hour, bowl B has ice that is PARTLY melted. We take a picture of the bowl and then discard it.

A week later, we remove bowl A from the refrigerator. By then, the ice of this bowl is COMPLETELY melted. We take a picture of this bowl and discard it also.

Finally, we present both pictures to someone who knows nothing about the experiment and ask him, “Which bowl would you say looks warmer to you?” He will certainly say, “A”, but he will be wrong, because bowl A was in near freezing temperature for a week before its picture was taken, while bowl B was in room temperature for an hour before its picture was taken.

The point of the experiment is that it is not merely temperature that is the factor in melting water, but TIME as well. The Medieval Warm Period was indeed a natural event, and thus its arrival was gradual and so was its ending. The ice sheets in the  Medieval Warm Period were less extensive because it lasted for several centuries, unlike the current warming period, which has lasted for only a few decades. Thus, the picture of bowl A could represent the Arctic ice cap at the height of the MWP, while the pic of bowl B could represent the Arctic ice cap today. Higher temperatures, but less time to melt the ice cap.

Thus, there is absolutely NO basis for the slanderous claims made against the scientists who have studied the progress of global warming in this present time. Indeed, if the MWP had been only three or four degrees F warmer than today’s average temperatures, we should have expected to see an almost total meltdown of both the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, resulting in a massive rise in sea levels around the world. And history records NO such thing!

We don’t know enough?

I can’t stand anyone who employs a double standard to attack and deny an idea he hates. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the debate over global warming.

One of the arguments used by denialists on the issue is, “We don’t know enough about this issue to make changes to our economies that will affect the lives of millions.” There are two problems with that claim. First, the emissions of greenhouse gases we made in the past were done in total ignorance of how they would affect the global climate. Only in the past few decades have we gained enough knowledge to understand how the various factors work together over time to change the climate. Second, the denialists NEVER define when we WOULD have enough knowledge to conclude that man’s pollution must be curbed to stop global warming. Since they haven’t done this, how can their claim that we don’t know enough be justified?

Another claim made by the denialists is that “The movement to stop global warming is a scam to destroy capitalism.” Well, how can anyone know that, since there is no proof that anyone can read the minds of Al Gore and others on his side of the debate? Nor has there been any documentation produced to prove that claim.

Seriously, how can one claim that we don’t know enough about the science of climate change to conclude that humans are the main cause of the problem, yet at the same time claim dogmatically that the efforts to combat global warming are a scam? There is one word to describe such an attitude: HYPOCRISY!

A Real Skeptic vs. a Denialist

A skeptic is defined as someone who reserves judgement on an issue until enough evidence is found to support a claim beyond a reasonable doubt and also clearly defines what would make him disbelieve a claim. This is scientific thinking.

By contrast, a denialist has no such defined limits, either of belief or disbelief. The denialist starts from a position of dogma, asserting opposition to an idea by presenting a contrary idea as absolute truth and interpreting all evidence according to that unalterable dogma, rather than draw conclusions based only on the evidence. This is the opposite of scientific thinking, although denialists often use scientific terminology to make their positions seem legitimate to fool the ignorant.

Denialism vs geuine skepticism is found in debates over evolution vs. Creationism, global warming, religion, and politics. If there were no denialists, most of those debates would have either ended long ago, or would be a lot more cordial than they tend to be.

The “chain of reason” in the global warming issue

There are four links in that chain, and all must be solid for the man-made global warming issue to be valid. Nothing else matters.

  1. Has CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere been increasing over the past century? Scientific reports indicate that is the case.
  2. Is CO2 a gas that causes heat to be retained in an atmosphere, thus making it a “greenhouse gas”? Scientific reports indicate that is the case.
  3. Does human industrial and transportative processes produce vast quantities of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere? Scientific reports indicate that is the case.
  4. Has the average global temperature actually increased over the past few decades? Scientific reports indicate that is the case.

Those who throw around issues like nuclear power, questionable reports of exceptional weather, recent solar output, or natural climate changes in ancient or prehistoric times, only seek to cloud the issue. Unless and until you deal directly with the four central issues at the heart of the global warming issue, you have no real case.

The chain of reason remains unbroken.