Is Global Warming becoming Climate Change?

7 07 2009

For a few years now, there’s been a lot of talk about how Global Warming is destroying the Earth, how it has already gone beyond worst-case scenario.  Obviously it’s not beyond the worst-case scenario.  And recent scientific measurements have shown that the Earth is cooling, and some places are having record snowfalls and some glaciers are accumulating ice.  So it might become difficult to convince people that Global Warming is imminent and everything possible must be done to stop it.  The leaders of the crusade don’t want to lose their power, because a lot of powerful legislation is being pushed through with little debate, for the sake of the world.  So now the term Global Warming is being replaced by Climate Change.  This way, no one can argue with them, because the climate changes all the time.

Can I prove that their agenda has changed?  Perhaps not yet.  But keep this in mind when you listen to the news, to see if this is really happening.  Decide for yourself.

Along these same lines, I recently found an article explaining why the temperature measurements used may not be accurate and reliable.  Here’s an excerpt that you may not know about:

After temperatures are collected from the various stations, a series of adjustments is performed on the data. This is absolutely necessary, and it definitely does not mean that people are playing tricks with the data. They have to correct for time of observation, changes in station equipment, station history and urban warming. But while the data collected for U.S. stations is available for examination, the dataset used by the IPCC is not. The numbers they use come out of a ‘black box,’ and there’s a story behind that which I won’t go into today. The global measurements for the three teams analyzing the same data is not very different, but the fact that global warming as measured to date is almost exactly equal to the adjustments performed to the data makes some sensible people queasy…

The article also links to a detailed report from an effort to photograph and classify all surface temperature measurement stations.   So far the group has surveyed 80% of the 1,221 places, and only 11% meet government specifications.  Some of the stations are next to air-conditioning units, and some are on pavement, which goes against specifications (for obvious reasons).   Here’s the article: Does global warming diminish with accurate temperature measurements?

Before anyone gets irate with me, let me say that I’m not trying to completely discredit the notion of Global Warming.  It happens naturally, and we do pollute the atmosphere more than we should.  But I am somewhat suspicious of some of the claims made by Al Gore and the IPCC, which blames it almost completely on man.  I wonder if we are being told the whole story.  Why would they lie about it?  Well, these high-priority scare tactics do allow legislation to move through quicker than normal, with less debate.  So it goes give a degree of power.  But who knows what is really going on?  My point is that we should look at both sides seriously, because there is credible data on each side of the debate.  We can’t trust the mainstream news media to tell us all the facts without bias and agenda.

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how do you know what you know?

7 05 2009

Have you ever wondered how many facts you “know” that you have never seen proof for?  There are a LOT of things we are taught in schools that we accept as true without ever seeing any amount of proof.  Of course, we have scientists and researchers who conduct studies to figure out what is true, and they then report it to us.  But how do we know what they are saying is true?

My point in this is not to get you to doubt everything — because some of what we’re taught is true — but I want you to consider how much faith you put in other people to validate what you believe is true about the world.  I’m sure we can think of examples where “facts” were incorrectly taught, such as that the Earth is flat, that the Earth is the center of the universe and everything revolved around it, and how old the universe is (which has changed several times since I started school).  Are there “facts” being taught today that are not accurate?

I started thinking about this after reading an article called “On Some Epistemic Pathologies, or Why the Human Mind is a Terrarium for So Many Lies“.   This was my first visit to this blog, so I don’t know anything about the authors, but a few articles gave me some things to think about.  This particular article started out mentioning some historical events that some people don’t believe in, such as the Moon landing, William Shakespeare writing the works he’s famous for, the Twin Towers being destroyed by terrorists on 9/11, the existence of Jesus Christ, and the Holocaust.   There’s proof that all these things happened, yet there are people who believe some of them never happened.

The article doesn’t offer proof of those events — that can be found elsewhere — but it does discuss why people might choose to not believe in them (from a sociological point-of-view).  It also discusses why most people tend to believe research studies, even though it’s been proven that some are wrong.  (I once read that something like 1/3 of medical research is proven wrong within a year or two of its release.  Thinking of all the claims I’ve heard about whether eggs are healthy for you or not, I’m inclined to believe that number.)  Before I ramble too much (if I haven’t already), let me quote a part of that article for your convenience (because if you think this post is long, then the linked one may overwhelm you):

Leaving aside questions of outright fraud, media gullibility, and PR spin, the lay public must also now take on faith (no other word will do) some very counterintuitive claims by honest scientists, such as the wave/particle duality in the behavior of light, the constancy of the speed of light, the relativity of the contraction or expansion of spacetime according to the speed of the observer, and the origin of the universe in a “singularity” that was at one time, roughly fourteen billion years ago, infinitely dense and infinitely small.  If the lay citizen — a resident of the Show Me State of Missouri, for example — were to demand irrefutable evidence for any of these assertions, how could he be answered?  But the problem goes deeper than the suspicion that science has turned the universe into a vast Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.  The real problem is that almost all of what people claim they know — and not just the esoterica of science — must be taken on faith, from the number of planets in the solar system (who, by the way, demoted Pluto from the pantheon of planets, and on what grounds?) to the age of the earth and the chemical composition of water. ~ Edward T. Oakes, S.J.

Think about how many things you accept as true but have never seen proof for.  (Feel free to pause reading for a few minutes to let your mind ponder that.  Continue when ready.)  🙂  I’m going to mention a few things here, for your future thinking and/or discussion.

* politics — When we hear politicians make claims about their values, do we check if they are speaking in accordance with how they actually vote?  This is also important for claims they make of other candidates — they do lie.  In fact, in the 2008 Presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and John McCain were caught lying in their own TV ads in the same week.  So it’s known that politicians lie.  But do we have any idea how often they do and how often we believe their lies?

* Global Warming — This is an issue that has scientific facts which supposedly support both sides on whether it’s occurring now and whether it’s man-made.   Yet there is a lot of disagreement, and there are respected scientists on each side.   How do you know who is right?  Do you actually look at facts and research from both sides?  If not, how do you choose who to believe?

* faith / religion — This is the biggest issue.  Why do you believe what you believe?  Obviously this question is huge and we could discuss it for a LONG time, so this is just an intro to it.  Some people believe what their parents told them to believe, which has led to many believing in false religions.  Some people believe what seems right to them or what is most convenient for their lifestyle.  Some people make up their own beliefs and call it Christianity (or some other religion).  Obviously some faith is required, but we should also have some proof — that is, actual encounters with God — which lines up with the Word of God (the Bible).  We must be careful to not blindly follow others, because even some well-meaning people teach false doctrine sometimes.  But the truth is out there, and God wants you to find it.  (I discuss this more thoroughly in other parts of my blog, so I’ll stop here now.)

I could go on, but more examples are left as an exercise for the reader — that’s you.  🙂  You’re welcome to share your thoughts in a comment.