Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Science? I think not!

My son came home on the second day of school with a science project assigned - to give a talk about "controversial science". Of course, I began salivating immediately, as we began to discuss ideas. In the course of our discussion, it became clear that this science teacher was promoting ideas that, while politically popular, were not supported by fact. My son said he was a bit confused because I exhibit some behaviors that would lead him to think I believed in the junk science, while in fact I oppose it. So I explained a whole lot of things to him, and thought I might do the same here.

For instance, I know that anthropogenic global warming er, I mean climate change um... anthropogenic global climate disruption is a load of hooey. If you look at actual scientific data (which is hard to find, by the way - our governments have done a good job of repressing it) there are two conclusions which can be drawn.

First, there is no data that supports the theory. There is no correlation in historical climate data between human influence and temperature. In fact, there is a strong correlation between solar activity and temperature. This makes sense when you think of the vast amount of energy delivered to Earth by the sun (174,000,000,000,000,000 or 174 petawatts) versus the minuscule changes in the greenhouse effect that humans have made. Even a tiny fluctuation in solar output has a large effect on our climate.

Secondly, there is no science involved. The climate models that have been publicized are computer simulations that are just plain wrong. The code that was published does not even properly handle historical data (e.g. if you plug in data up to 1950 it predicts we'll all die by now). Instead the authors have written the code to throw away the output of the model on historical data and simply output its input, so it appears to follow the Earth's actual climate to date. As Climategate has shown us, the "scientists" who promote the theory are biased and doing bad/no science, just politics.

On the other hand I do recycle, compost and try to reduce my energy consumption where possible. Why? Because of my faith. I want to be a good steward of the natural resources God has given me. Just because we are not going to die from melting glaciers in 10 years doesn't mean I should needlessly squander God's creation.

I read somewhere that Americans make up 5% of the Earth's population, but consume 25% of the available energy and raw materials. I believe that everyone should be able to live the best lifestyle possible, and in that regard it is up to those who have to at least allow for that possibility. That means either generating five times as much energy/pollution/waste/etc. or using 80% less of it ourselves.

Granted, not using a resource doesn't put it in the hands of someone else, but on the contrary, using a resource does keep it from someone else. In other words, I do not take the position "you must stop your CO2 emissions so that I can drive my SUV". I would rather say "I will forgo my SUV so that you can drive a car if you want." (guess where I stand on "cap and trade"?). I use this as an example not because I believe in global climate whatevertheyaresellingthisweek but because gasoline is a resource. I could say the same of paper, aluminum, steel, or any other thing I consume.

I bothers me when people I respect and consider intelligent, like Jeff Miller or Jimmy Akin post stories about how they are against "going green" or tweet that they are going to leave lights on or turn up the AC to protest those who conserve. I agree that too many people go too far, or push their own "too much of you, just enough of me" agenda, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for crunchy Catholics, or those of us who, like me, fall somewhere in the middle of things.


I thought we were the only "Crunchy Catholics" out there. We are called to be good stewards to the Earth. Nice post!

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