Let's get the most important subject matter dealt with at the top: HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS! 234 years young today.
I got called a "global warming skeptic" the other day by a person who enjoined me to "spread the word" about President Obama's upcoming U.N. Climate Summit in Copenhagen. (Will those wacky Scandinavians put Nobel Prizes on the luncheon place mats?) However, she is incorrect. I am not a skeptic. I am a global warming denier. But I will be happy to spread some word via this blog.
The way real science works is that observations are made of natural phenomena. A model is postulated and peer reviewed by scientists, who are (normally) by nature skeptical. The model's success and acceptance among scientists is strongly based on how well it predicts reality. But the whole problem with global warming is that, well, you'd expect things to be getting warmer. But they're not. The evidence I see (example article here) is that things are getting cooler, not warmer. The warmest year on record was 1998, more than a decade ago.
And my body tells me that this past summer was unusually cool. And what of all those unusually active hurricane seasons were were warned about? Zilch. An atmospheric Comet Kohoutek.
The problem with the whole global warming school of thought is that it's really more of a religion than real science. It has an orthodoxy of thought (humans are destroying the planet) with resultant guilt (humans are bad), religious rites (recycling), a requirement for faith (things will grow warmer, you'll see), a gathering place for the faithful (Earth Day) and prophets (Al Gore).
The environmental playbook looks like this: 1.) Cherry pick your data so that only the facts that support your argument are used. 2.) Overstate your case. 3.) Suppress dissent.
Yes, the whole subject is intensely complex and intensely arguable. But I leave it as my opinion that the only real inconvenient truth about global warming is that the hot air exhaled by Al Gore and his ilk surpasses anything we're really experiencing in the atmosphere.
Finally, I direct you to a great article by Michael Crichton, "Aliens Cause Global Warming." It can serve as my manifesto about junk/politicized science. As Crichton asks, "When did 'skeptic' become a dirty word in science?" Indeed.
I am now reading "Otto of the Silver Hand," an 1888 work by Howard Pyle. The story is fine but the illustrations (also by Pyle) are just outstanding. Golly, what amazing line drawings! (Representational image.) From wikipedia: "His contemporary, Vincent van Gogh spoke of Pyle in a letter to his brother, saying that Pyle's work '...struck me dumb with admiration.'" Me, too!
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