Well my goodness, they have been piling up without me putting out even a half-assed effort to keep up with them, huh?
It’s a very important issue for our time. We know the earth is getting much warmer lately, and that man is the only cause of it. If we reform our infrastructure, put so many factories out of commission that the world’s major superpower is corrupting our environment no more than the northern tip of Switzerland, come what may — we just might live. If we don’t, we’ll drown in one bitchin’ tsunami after another.
We know this to be true. How do we know it? Because our Democrats really played up the Mark Foley scandal and they were able to b-a-r-e-l-y take over Congress, so President Bush was cowed last night into saying:
America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment – and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change. [emphasis mine]
So there ya have it. Congressman pervert sends nasty e-mails to page boys…new Congress…President says something…Presto. That’s the way we know things. Kind of reminds me of what Tommy Lee Jones said in Men in Black…a thousand years ago we knew the earth was the center of the universe, 500 years ago we knew the earth was flat and 5 minutes ago you knew we are alone in the universe. That is pretty much it. We “know” the earth is heating up and we “know” it’s our fault.
A few days ago I pulled this off the Wikipedia entry for the Weather Channel. I saved it because it looked useful, and in my opinion it did not comport with NPOV, the Neutral Point-of-View doctrine that is central to Wikipedia’s quality standards. See, I like NPOV myself, but I don’t think things have to be NPOV to be useful. You hear from both sides, however irrational and bigoted they may be, you’ll learn much more than if you just stick to the middle of the road.
But Wikipedia is not the place for this kind of practice. So it was easy to see, this was going to go away. So I saved it. Sure enough, it’s no longer there.
On December 21, 2006, Dr. Heidi Cullen posted JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE… in The Weather Channel’s web site. Dr. Cullen’s posting took the position that American Meteorological Society (AMS) should strip the certification of any meteorologist that publicly questions that global warming is anything other than a manmade phenomenon. This position of marginalizing meteorologists who argue that recent weather variations may have a natural explanations struck many scientist as politically motivated and flawed. While Dr. Cullen and The Weather Channel denied any political motivation, the position generated significant editorial comment. JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE…
The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks. Lucas admitted in a recent interview with Media Village that the reprogramming of The Weather Channel was influenced by her tenure at CNN when that network shifted from presenting straight news to personality-driven programming. The Weather Channel Takes on Global Warming
I saw that one coming. What surprised me, was the scolding tone of the person who I’m assuming was responsible for the removal. He could be talking about something else; I hope so.
We have an anon IP who is continually inserting right-slanted edits into the section on the 2007 blog controversy. For what it’s worth, while conservatives seem to be trying to make this into a cause celebre (and there is some indication that this may be an astroturf campaign), the vast majority of the scientific community considers it to be a right-wing temper tantrum and therefore a tempest in a teapot. It also does not help that said anon clearly lacks the scientific background to be making knowledgeable contributions to this section — no, you’re not required to have a PhD, but a back-of-the-envelope understanding of the basic issues involved (as well as a firm grasp of the scientific definition of “theory”) would go a long way towards knowing what is needed to comment knowledgeably.
As it is, the article fails to reflect both that anthrogenic global warming is in fact the accepted scientific consensus, and that the vast majority of Dr. Cullen’s critics are coming from the right side of the political spectrum. Thoughts? [emphasis mine]
If this is the fellow responsible for removing the section quoted above, I approve of the action but strongly deplore his reasoning. Since my objection is to the reasoning, I don’t suppose it very much matters whether there is any connection at all between the Wonya Lucas tidbit, and Mister “back of the envelope” boy. His is an exercise in Clean Thinking, which over the long term is responsible for nothing that’s helped us, ever. Did it belong in Wikipedia? Absolutely not. Am I better off not knowing it? Eh…I don’t think so…and I somewhat resent having secrets kept from me, and having some bill-o-goods sold to me that this dumbing-down is for my benefit.
I like knowing about Wonya Lucas. She seems to be a big part of the story. Earlier this month Melanie Morgan wrote up an expose that you’ll never get any of these “purists” to take seriously, since it appeared in WorldNet Daily. But it’s good to know.
The Weather Channel debuted in 1982 and went on to earn a reputation as a well-known and respected cable network. The explosive success of the cable channel prompted the publication of a book marking the network’s 20th anniversary. That success has been based on the fact that weather forecasts are sought after by a vast number of Americans on a near-daily basis.
What had been nice about The Weather Channel is that through most of its history it stayed clear of political propaganda and focused on delivering weather forecasts to the nation, supplemented with riveting live reports from the front lines of hurricanes, winter blizzards and springtime floods.
But no more. The Weather Channel is now engaged in a con job on the American people, attempting to scare the public that their actions are destroying the planet by creating a global warming crisis.
The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks.
Lucas admitted in a recent interview with Media Village that the reprogramming of The Weather Channel was influenced by her tenure at CNN when that network shifted from presenting straight news to personality-driven programming.
Lucas decided that what was good for CNN was good for The Weather Channel, and the objectivity and respectability of the network has now been thrown out the window. It doesn’t matter that CNN’s turn to the left has caused their ratings to plummet; The Weather Channel’s embraced its model.
Media Village reported that the move by The Weather Channel “is intended to establish a broader perspective on the weather category and, says Lucas, to move the brand from functional to emotional.”
Emotional weather forecasting?
Good question. Mixing emotion and thinking can lead to some bad stuff. And some scientists are beginning to worry about it…just a little.
Problem is, global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer’s heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s.
In their efforts to capture the public’s attention, then, have climate scientists oversold global warming? It’s probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far.
“Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster,” says Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado.
Now, I have been repeatedly instructed that I am supposed to believe “all” the scientists agree with the global warming mantra — the exceptions are limited to phony scientists who are “on the payroll of the energy industry.” I do not know if James Spann is on the payroll of the energy industry, but I’m confident that if he can be linked to it in any way, I’ll be told about it any minute now. Because he’s gone on the record and said something…unclean…
The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, lets not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.
If you don’t like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie to grant money for research on the subject. I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue.
I have nothing against “The Weather Channel”, but they have crossed the line into a political and cultural region where I simply won’t go.
So there ya have it. What we know about global warming, is that the earth has a “mean” temperature, and this temperature is subject to flux. Good thing that it is; what stays static, is limited to things that are dead. Tragically, we have linked the fluctuation to imminent death, when in reality it is a sign of life. The suggestion of doom, thanks to executives like Lucas, has caused a surge of adrenaline to inundate the issue and everything that touches it.
We have much written about it. Some of it is very well-thought-out and balanced, and some of it is anything but.
But the bottom-line is, as far as what everyone wants to know about — the theory that we’re causing our own imminent destruction — it’s probably a crock.
All our models of the earth climate are incomplete. That’s why they keep changing, and that’s why climate scientists keep finding surprises. As Rummy used to say, there are a ton of “unknown unknowns” out there. The real world is full of x’s, y’s and z’s, far more than we can write little models about. How do you extract the human contribution from a vast number of unknowns?
That’s why constant testing is needed, and why it is so frustrating to do frontier science properly.
Science is difficult because nature always has another surprise in store for us, dammit! Einstein rejected quantum mechanics, and was wrong about that. Newton went wrong on the proof of calculus, a problem that didn’t get solved until 1900. Scientists are always wrong — they are just less wrong now than they were before (if everything is going well).