Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It got cold last night!

I noticed that yesterday, between 2PM and 2AM, the temperature dropped-- it did not increase-- thereby disproving all claims of so-called "global warming". Wait, do you find that a dense observation? Okay, I suppose that I note it got colder from September to December of this year? Is the theory of climate change disproved, or am I still dense? Okay, what if we go to a really, really cold winter? Is it dense still? Would it leave a false impression if I were to go find proof of a very cold winter season (during a calendar year which scientists say ties for the warmest on record), and only mention the winter part of the story?

NOAA's report says,
"According to NOAA scientists, 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record, beginning in 1880. This was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average. For the contiguous United States alone, the 2010 average annual temperature was above normal, resulting in the 23rd warmest year on record."

Just a reminder that if the average of something, say school buses' weights, were increasing year to year, then it is no disproof of the average weight change if you were able to point to one really skinny kid on the bus. In temperature terms, that means that the summers got hotter than any cold parts got colder.

Now let's discuss this. There you are, sitting in your chair, not thinking about the weather at the moment, and someone comes up to you and makes sure that you have information that this past winter was really cold. Then they go and mention "global warming" and "the religion of climate change". This is what happened in my reading of Frank Turk's Pyromaniacs blog. It's a blog with religious and Christian themes, not a blog about science. My view is that if you had kept up to date with the scientific data (not the theories, just the raw data), you would be questioning whatever political or religious philosophy that inspired such posturing.

What views of government and religion are threatened by the data?
  • In my view, biblical Christianity, the doctrine of the church historic is not. Martin Luther, in explaining the meaning of the Seventh Commandment (Thou Shalt Not Kill), in his Large Catechism, said,
    "It is just as if I saw some one navigating and laboring in deep water [and struggling against adverse winds] or one fallen into fire, and could extend to him the hand to pull him out and save him, and yet refused to do it. What else would I appear, even in the eyes of the world, than as a murderer and a criminal?
    So Christianity isn't threatened by worrying about people drowning. It demands it. It points to how helping those who are laboring in deep water is a way to honor the commandments. It also tells us how greed and covetousness isn't God's will.
  • In my view, free market economics and a philosophy of small government is not threatened. Say, take the issue of some toxic chemical or bird flu virus strain. If I am convinced that something threatens the public, this information doesn't threaten free market economics. I could first and foremost pull the plug on all tax subsidies, and I could strive to make sure that the court system doesn't prevent those who have been damaged by the product from seeking damages. Those two things would go a long way to addressing the problem, more so than "regulation". I could also refrain from dissing those who use the public square to educate the public about the dangers. I could also refrain from publishing misinformation, spurious pieces of data.
  • Humanism, per se, isn't even threatened, at least not that kind that is defined by thinking highly of humans. Humans produce poop and CO2. Our civilization long ago got used to the idea that people ought to be careful how they handle one product of their body, where they put it. What's so strange that another body product has to engender equal care?

    What is threatened?
  • In my opinion, in religion, a gospel reductionism or antinomianism is surely threatened. Wordnet defines Antinomianism as: "The theological doctrine that by faith and God's grace a Christian is freed from all laws (including the moral standards of the culture)" In my opinion, one reason so many conservatives are upset about global warming is because it presents a place where they are being called to repentance. Their churches aren't doing it, focusing instead on choosing the correct team.
  • A statist conservatism is threatened. If you got chills at the idea above of people being able to sue over pollution, I think you're a bit statist. Pollution is a subsidy. You want the state to prevent people from getting compensation for damages they suffer, because the damage-ers are politically favored, or something called "civilization" benefits.

These criticisms are not directed at the person who doesn't care about global warming. They are not directed at folks who don't understand the science, or are troubled by all the arguing, or even skeptical. My criticisms are directed at those whose philosophies are troubled by the possibility of woefully sinful behavior in your everyday actions. At those who introduce scientific topics into religious settings, and in so doing misrepresent the facts-- not the esoteric theories or predictions, but the actual facts that a fifth grader could verify, like whether 2010 was hot.

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