Friday, September 09, 2005

My Excommunication

I don't believe in global warming.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe there's evidence that average temperatures may be rising. I just don't think it's scientifically demonstrable that there's a connection between the intuitively obvious increase in emissions of so-called greenhouse gases and the increase in average temperatures. I don't believe there's evidence that increased tropical activity is anything other than a cyclical phenomenon. I don't believe that the environmental case has been proved, not even close.

There are issues where I think the evidence is pretty strong--chlorofluorocarbons and seasonal decreases in ozone levels at the poles, for instance. And regardless of the strength of the evidence, I see nothing wrong with decreasing hydrocarbon emissions (which have other ill effects, as anyone who's been to London and blown black boogers knows), or the use of certain propellants (a mechanical pump works fine, and your hair looks great, and nice shoes, wanna fuck?), or cow farts, for that matter.

But blaming disasters like Katrina on global warming--and I haven't seen a lot of it, but one mention of such stupidity is enough to set me off on something like this--doesn't add to the environmental movement's street cred with The Big Stupids. There is ample evidence, that I'd link to if I weren't too lazy to search for it, that cyclonic activity is, in fact, cyclical, and that this is just the first time we've gone through the heavy part of the cycle when places like New Orleans and Florida were so heavily invested with media-networked humanity and the money and real estate it engenders.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go find, and throw spitballs at, the Rainbow Warrior.


ilse said...

As long as they're recycled-paper spitballs, it's fine.

whispers said...

I'm curious - why isn't there global warming?

(a) Is the Earth getting warmer in recent years? Answer: yes. This can be demonstrated in a lot of ways: thawing of tundra in Northern reaches, disappearance of glaciers, melting of polar ice, etc.

(b) Why wouldn't radically increased CO2 emissions affect the atmosphere? That's sort of like expecting chemical sewage flowing into rivers to not have any effect on the water temperature. Haven't we as a society moved away from taking "we can do whatever we want to the environment and it won't change things" as a null hypothesis? Change is the constant.

Landru said...

Slow down, Dr. Death. I very carefully did not deny a couple of factoids to which you cite. I am not denying climate change. I am not denying the need to do something to prepare for it. I am not advocating increasing pollution. I am observing that I think that the evidence for the causes of climate change is not yet as conclusive as we might like, and I am asserting that blaming Hurricane Katrina on global warming is fucking idiotic. Thass all.

whispers said...

Trying to blame a hurricane in particular on global warming doesn't really make sense. How would we know if a particular storm's strength was related to global warming or not?

J. D. T. Saul said...

At the time you wrote this Amigo (Sorry just catching up, you said it had to be read serially!) I was unconvinced of the amount we affected the warming cycle. I have recently come to understand that you and I were just flat wrong. There is plenty of hard scientific data. How about CO2 readings for that last 300,000 years? We're off the charts now. Apologies if you recant somewhere further on.