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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Global Warming or Global Cooling?

Ever since Al Gore's documentary won an Academy Award, I've heard a number of people authoritatively claiming that the concept of "global warming" is an undisputed and undeniable fact. This is wrong, and can only be said by someone who is either ignorant or who cares more about a political agenda than they do about the scientific method.

Here are some quotes from a recent TIME article on the subject. Before you read these quotes, keep in mind that TIME is a product of AOL Time Warner, and is considered by many to have somewhat of a leftist political bias, so this should not be dismissed as anti-Gore/pro-corporate political dogma:

... a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F.
Please click on the title link and read this entire article. There is an abundance of scientific data to support the idea of global cooling, and the scientific community is very divided about whether we are facing global warming or global cooling. If people truly care about human impact on the environment, they need to stop fixating on the trendy and politically popular myth that global warming is an established fact. If we as a species are having an adverse impact on the planet, we need to consider all available data and use the scientific method to find a comprehensive explanation of the nature and cause of that impact.

If we let ourselves be suckered by Gore and other political activists into thinking that their assertions are unchallenged scientific facts, we may exclude other ideas that might better be able explain or minimize our impact on the environment. Gore definitely has a political agenda, and his annual $30,000 energy bill makes me suspect that his environmental activism is more about self promotion than saving the planet. Environmental activism can be hugely profitable for those people at the top of powerful environmental organizations or who manage to seize the limelight. Whenever someone screams "The sky is falling!" people line up to make donations to that cause, and some of that money is used to pay hefty salaries and fund lavish lecture junkets. I bring this up not to claim that Gore and other global warming activists are all thieving liars, but rather to point out that we should not treat their words as gospel. Climatology is a a matter of science and should be decided by the scientific community at large after considering all available data. It is not in our best interest to place blind faith in self-promoting politicians who selectively publicize their favorite bits of "evidence" while blithely ignoring vast amounts of conflicting data.

Further Reading:

If you have an open mind and would like to learn about a less frequently publicized aspect of environmental theory, you might enjoy Michael Crichton's novel, State of Fear. While the plot isn't terribly realistic or gripping, it does a good job of explaining how the environmental movement isn't necessarily as selfless as many like to think. It also does a nice job of weaving an opposing view to global warming within the context of an easy to read story. The book is riddled with foot notes citing specific scientific studies and bits of evidence that refute simplistic global warming theories, so in addition to proving some light entertainment it also can serve as a starting point to help people delve into less publicized climatological data.

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