We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, July 29. 2009
I posed this question to a very nice, well-intentioned but scientifically-illiterate Greenie lady I sat next to at dinner on Saturday night:
"What if there really is scary global warming, but it turns out it isn't caused by man, but instead by natural variation from other factors that are too complex to be understood? Then what?"
There was no reply. Her brain appeared to short-circuit.
I am a fun dinner companion.
Posted by The Barrister in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:46 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (2)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
She just hadn't read the stock answer, B.
"Well, it doesn't hurt to be safe, we'll create new jobs, America should take the lead, we need to get off fossil fuels anyway",
to which the rebuttal,
"Fine, but at ANY cost?"
is the usual short-circuit point.
(Yipee, i can open Maggies --first time if fo-EVER!)
hahahahahahaha thanks for the vivid description and i only wish i could have been there.
It's also fun to give them my three-part AWG quiz. Don't cheat and look at the bottom:
1) What gas is responsible for 95% of the greenhouse effect on Earth?
2) Is the United States a net carbon-dioxide absorber, or emitter? (Bonus - ask the same thing about China, Japan, or any European country)
3) Is the Earth's global climate today warmer or cooler than it was about 1,100 years ago?
1) 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect is from water vapor. In all the graphs and charts showing relative effects of gasses, they used to always put an asterisk or footnote stating, "water vapor excluded". But after a while the dot-gov climatologists stopped doing that, saying it was so well known that it wasn't necessary any more.
2) The US is a net absorber, the rest are net emitters. As a secondary tidbit, the US now has more forested area than in pre-Columbian times.
3) The Icelanders started homesteading Greenland in around 900A.D., and kept colonies there until the middle 1300's (during the Medieval Climate Optimum, as it used to be called). When the planet cooled off during the "Little Ice Age", these colonies were abandoned. They grew crops of oats, and planted forests of trees which lasted hundreds of years. Even with the past decades of warming, we're still nowhere near being able to do that today.
These facts are all easily confirmed and cited...the 95% figure comes from study by NOAA itself, in the days prior to the politicization of climate.
It's fun to watch their heads explode when you tell them that if they don't know very simple, very basic facts, they're not qualified to offer an opinion (and have it carry any weight whatsoever).
A tiny bone to pick with a lot of people and you were handy: water vapor is not a gas. By definition, water vapor is a very tenuous liquid, suspended in the atmosphere. A gas is chemically and physically different.
The whole atmosphere can be defined as "greenhouse substances" since all elements in the atmosphere help to retain heat in some form or another.
I do love your little quiz.
"...a very nice, well-intentioned but scientifically-illiterate Greenie lady..."
ha ha. Well done, Squire...er... B. B's Jay Leno Man on the Street episode.
I like doing that until I realize the people I'm messing with really ARE that stupid. Then I just get the creeps. I have a friend who believes there is no such thing as mental illness, that people 'put-on' and can come out of it if they wanted. She also doesn't believe in addictions. She only 'philosophizes' like this when she's drunk. I look at her and think 'You're lucky to have the surface of life to float on.'
Scary. Very scary to me.
Seriously, enviros cannot think critically or logically because their mental processes are controlled by something called the "Precautionary Principle." Basically, the Precautionary Principle says that it something might conceivably cause harm, you must assume it does cause harm until someone proves it doesn't cause harm. This is true even if there is little or no objective evidence that it causes harm in the first place.
Unfortunately, the Precautionary Principle now forms the basis for a large portion of environmental laws and regulation, as well as being what undergirds the Global Warming Hoax and various other environmental disaster scenarios.
Thus, for "Global Warming," although the observed evidence increasingly does not support the theory, the disaster predictive models (much of it based on faulty computer models such as the infamous "hockey stick," or incomplete or selective data sets) say it could be true and therefore must be assumed to be true until proven not to be true.
In logic, the precautionary principle is known as the "fallacy of arguing from ignorance."
See good example of the fallacy at: http://radicallibertarians.blogspot.com/2007/04/urgh-and-precautionary-principle.html
It is a good test. I aced it, but admit your info about gas escaped me - even though I knew it. It's too bad gas isn't really water vapor because that would ease the fart hole in the ionosphere caused by Jappy's sheep.
"Meta - 'Dimwit in the Street'
Dimwit? Hardly. Astute observation as to the pivotal effects sheep farts play in the climate change changes we are currently experiencing.
Thank you, Luther. I was thinking about that fartage. Water vapor fartage, that is. It would/could make the backs of men's trousers moist. Like they sat on rain-wettened bench in the park to have their Thai fud.
At least Jappy can take the wine corks out of his sheep. Those that haven't been shot into space, that is, by the Bush beans he feeds them.
yesterday i heard this guy in the soup line say a comet had killed Dinah Shore. I told him he meant dinosaur and they went instinct hundreds of years ago. He said of course they in stinked after all a cow or horse does when they get wet which they do. i agreed they do. he said yes of course they doo and thats what causes methane. he said methane, he wisht he had some cuz he wouldn't be in the soup line then. I said thin, you wouldn't be in it FAT either cuz that would defeat the porpoise. he said porpoise, he heard they had the worlds oldest porpoises in Florida but he never saw em as the cops kept busting him for crossing the state line for immortal porpoises. i asked him did they confiscate your license he said no but they did take it away from him. he said hell they might have confiscated it back at the station house for all he knew. i said well if they did i sure hope it was laminated. he said it didn't matter who, he hoped NObody ate it. i said i certainly agreed on that and at that moment the doors come open and we went on in and got some soup.
Buddy, would ye like fore us to set up a donation box fore ye? I bet Luther could come up with a nice 'Donate to Buddy' poem to start the drive off.
He could start off with:
Buddy was in the soup line with a nut
All because he needed to fill his gut.
This is not a time of economic glut
As we watch our leader bow and strut.
Sounds like the fear principle that undergirds all religions. And I don't mean just 'God' religions.
In an ironic twist, that principle could also be 'true' if something might conceivably cause good. Eg. Organic food nuts.
Try these questions too: "Do you think human nature is perfectible? Do you think human beings are ends in themselves? What is the capital of Assyria?" Heh.
that can't be true,
they don't serve soup to nuts
'specially them that sit around on 'da butts
and 'ye as hell cain't drive without no license
to git across the state line to see a old nice'en
of course that makes 'ye scream and holler
but if 'ye say the secret woird
'ye could split a hundred dollars
"Buddy was in the soup line with a nut
All because he needed to fill his gut.
This is not a time of economic glut
As we watch our leader bow and strut."
And Buddy sauntered off
with his belly full of guff
the food free or not not strong enough
to beat out our leaders bluff
The guy beside him
when the doors opened for them
shuttled off to a life of porpoise
forgetting that he was only a tortoise
So yes let's hale
as we receive the bail
that will lead us all to hell
with a fairly do well
Sorry, Geoff, but water vapor is a gas. Now, things like clouds, fog, drizzle, etc. are composed of liquid water droplets of various sizes, suspended in the air. But vapor is the term we use for the actual gas phase of H2O - invisible, colorless, odorless, etc. Every compound has solid, liquid, and gas phases, and H2O is no exception.
JW, you are correct. Your answer can be confirmed in most chemistry books, which will illustrate the so-called phase diagram (P-T plot). Geoff only need Google the term "phase diagram" to convince himself.
The problem with marshaling the world's resources to combat global warming "just to be on the safe side" (as many global warming agnostics advise) is that if GW turns out to be driven by strictly natural causes and man's contribution is irrelevant, there will be few resources left to help countries adapt to this natural change in climate. A misguided policy formed out of our current ignorance may do great harm if it ultimately leaves us in a poorer position to compensate for any major changes in the world's climate. Doing nothing now might turn out to be the wiser choice.
jaysus! Luther. Buddy will starve to def over that thaing.
BUDDY! CAN YOU HEAR ME?? I HAVE SOME PIE FOR YOU!
1. No. Involves behavior
2. Yes. When you're in love, he's perfect. Otherwise, no.
How about asking which are the three self-conscious emotions.
What is the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person?
Y'all are a Poet
But you don't know it
But your FEET show it
I usually ask them "What if the only thing holding back the glaciers from covering most of North America and Europe is carbon emissions?"
Basically the plot of "Fallen Angels" by Niven and Pournelle.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam :
The fallacy of assuming something is true simply because it hasn't been proven false. For example, someone might argue that global warming is certainly occurring because nobody has demonstrated conclusively that it is not. But failing to prove the global warming theory false is not the same as proving it true...
[I especially like the word "ignorantium." It may neot be completely fair in a debate, but it's more fun that telling someone they're using the precautionary principle. Makes 'em back & fill a little.]
I loved this from Maggie's Farm. I posed this question to a very nice, well-intentioned but scientifically-illiterate Greenie lady I sat next to at dinner on Saturday night: "What if there really is dangerous global warming, but it turns out it isn't caused...
Tracked: Jul 29, 23:48
In a follow up to yesterday's post about a clueless greenie, one commenter may have hit the nail on the head as to 'why' of the urgency so many of them have been pushing Cap-and-Trade and a host of...
Tracked: Jul 30, 23:24