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Realism & Equity on Climate Change Policies


Before spending trillions of dollars trying to control climate change, shouldn’t we get a second opinion on both the science and policy options? S. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, U. Virginia & former director of the US Weather Satellite Service weighs in onThe Global Warming Debate. He reviews evidence against anthropogenic global warming detailed in the report Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change Singer notes:

My purpose here is to show that this concern is misplaced, that human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way, and that, in any case, very little can be done about global climate change. It is unstoppable; we should not even try to influence it. . . .I will also argue that –should it occur — a modest warming is on the whole beneficial.Singer warns:

In the mistaken idea that something needs to be done, policies are arising that have the potential of distorting energy policies, severely damaging national economies, make us poorer, and hurting standards of living. Such a misdirection of resources will adversely affect human health and welfare in industrialized nations — and even more so in developing nations. It can lead to social tensions within nations and to conflict between nations.

ICECAP summarizes NIPCC:

“After the Introduction (Section 1), the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change focuses on two major issues: 1) The very weak evidence that the causes of the current warming are anthropogenic (Section 2) and 2) The far more robust evidence that the causes of the current warming are natural (Section 3). The NIPCC then addresses the following issues: 3) Computer models are unreliable guides to future climate conditions (Section 4), 4) Sea-level rise is not significantly affected by rise in greenhouse gases (Section 5), 5) The data on ocean heat content have been misused to suggest anthropogenic warming. The role of greenhouse gases in the reported rise in ocean temperature is largely unknown (Section 6), 6) Understanding of the atmospheric carbon dioxide budget is incomplete (Section 7), 7) Higher concentrations of CO2 are more likely to be beneficial to plant and animal life and to human health than lower concentrations (Section 8), 8 ) The economic effects of modest warming are likely to be positive and beneficial to human health (Section 9), and 9) the Conclusion: Our imperfect understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change means the science is far from settled. This, in turn, means proposed efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions are premature and misguided. Any attempt to influence global temperatures by reducing such emissions would be both futile and expensive (Section 10).”

ICECAP notes that the “NIPCC is being presented in briefings throughout Europe over the next month.” Singer has published Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.

Equity for the Poor
Singer and the NIPCC report raise serious questions both on how scientists have interpreted the data, and the more important aspect of the policy decisions that are being made – to “control” what is uncontrollable. Such policies made in the name of the poor are projected to seriously impact economies and seriously harm the poor.
Climate Scientist Roy Spencer challenges the Global Warming bandwagon with his book: Climate Confusion. Spencer exposes the weak evidence for anthropogenic warming and contrary evidence. He raises the serious consequences of how these policies seriously harming the poor. Similarly, Lester R. Brown addresses Why Ethanol Production Will Drive World Food Prices Even Higher in 2008 © 2008 Earth Policy Institute, Jan. 24, 2008

We are witnessing the beginning of one of the great tragedies of history. The United States, in a misguided effort to reduce its oil insecurity by converting grain into fuel for cars, is generating global food insecurity on a scale never seen before. The world is facing the most severe food price inflation in history as grain and soybean prices climb to all-time highs. . . .

C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer warned: How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor Foreign Affairs, May/June 2007

Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn — and those of other food staples — is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol’s production inputs.

On top of this, we are now beginning to see the impact of peak oil with the price of oil doubling in the last year to $135/bbl. This is increasing the price of fertilizer and food, directly increasing starvation among the poor. The confluence of these issues raises serious challenges to review not just climate data and its interpretation but more importantly the impact of peak oil and growing world population on the poor.

These issues parallel Intelligent Design vs Evolution in science -reevaluating the data with different models, with major societal consequences.

"Darwin Theory Proved True" (Sept. 22, 1912) Hee hee hee hee hee. There is a punchline. tribune7
An interesting link illustrating what might occur when one draws conclusions w/regard to fossils. tribune7
How about the frogamander fossil that’s making the news? Does ID have anything to say on that? Not really. ID does not dogmatically reject common descent. But why would one draw any sort of definitive conclusion from a fossil (much less a news report of a fossil)? If you found a fossil of a tadpole and a fossil of a frog could you not conclude they are different creatures? tribune7
Mavis Riley (3): "A single example of taking a set of “data” and showing us how ID explains it “better” then the standard understanding please." We've known for roughly a half century that biological life is based on information encoded and stored using a symbolic language. That is the data that everyone has in common. The standard materialistic/reductionistic explanation is bound to the expectation that matter/energy is primary and that intelligence/thought/design is subsequent and derivative. Consequently, it is taken for granted as an assumption that cellular life was produced by undirected processes of nature. This is despite all empirical evidence against the idea. On the other hand, those who allow consideration of the real possibility of intelligent agency are able to observe that all of our empirical experience indicates consistently that symbolic languages and the information they encode are the products of choice, i.e. intelligent agency, not undirected law or chance. Further, when we examine how intelligent agents are able to create symbolic information processing systems, we observe they employ faculties (e.g. imagination, abstract thinking, planning, and the pursuit of future benefits) that we have never observed as properties of undirected processes. Nor have we observed any alternative attributes of undirected processes that provide it the ability to pursue future benefits or abstract symbolic representation. In particular, it is recognized that natural selection's filtering process only applies with regard to present influences that weed out deficiencies. It emphatically does not direct work toward future, planned benefits. This is not an accidental distinction. It derives from the very heart of the meaning of an undirected process. Thus there is a fundamental difference between a directed and an undirected interpretation for the origin of symbolic language and information. Whereas there are no viable undirected explanations (only promises and expectations based on ideological assumptions), a directed solution is entirely and uniformly consistent with the available empirical evidence about viable causal sources for symbolic language and information. Regarding your question about deaths resulting from different interpretations, please consider the article Darwin's Dystopia? by Dr. Benjamin Wiker. ericB
Mavis Riley Re: DLH "These issues parallel Intelligent Design vs Evolution in science -reevaluating the data with different models, with major societal consequences." The critical issue I see between these is the CONSEQUENCES of the respective foundational worldviews. One one side is intelligent causation vs the other is materialism (or "philosophical naturalism" where there is nothing beyond energy & matter). With intelligent causation comes the moral law "do not murder" and "Lex Rex", the Law over the Prince (See Samuel Rutherford). With materialism comes "survival of the fittest" and "Might makes 'right'". The consequence of the materialistic worldview in the 20th century were some 100 to 130 million people killed by the actions of their OWN governments. e.g., by Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc. (For comparison, there were some 39 million killed in all wars of the 20th century.) As you noted, I do not know of any deaths directly attributable to "intelligent design." (PS if we take Religion as caused by "intelligent causation", then there are deaths caused by religious wars from those sets of worldviews. Yet these are small compared to those associated with the materialistic worldview. See 40% of the population killed by Pol Pot. If religions are included, then need to distinguish good/vs evil and types of religions etc.) Thus empirically, the greatest danger to civil society are rulers with materialistic worldviews coming to power and ruling by "might makes right". On your: "the “same” data is reevaluated and different conclusions are drawn?" The late 20th century temperature increase appears generally "correlated" with the increase in CO2 - which appears correlated with anthropogenic fossil fuel use. However, correlation does not equate with causation. By expanding the record back to the last glaciation, Singer shows "Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1500 years". Similarly, there has been an average rate of increase in temperature since the last glaciation, modulated by natural causes of solar sunspot cycles, ocean current oscillations, volcanoes, and cosmic ray variations. Studies testing the global warming models against observed data are finding increasing differences greater than the uncertainties, and often in the opposite trends. e.g. see papers co-authored by Singer. On your: "More specific with actual pratical consequences that can be the basis for more research? A single example of taking a set of “data” and showing us how ID explains it “better” then the standard understanding please." The simplest is the formation of the flagellum as on the masthead, or more importantly, the first self reproducing cell. Probabilities of origin by random search are astronomically small to put it politely. i.e., astronomically smaller than the probability of all particles in the universe (10^80) being rearranged at the fastest possible rate (inverse plank time of 10^43/sec) over the entire age of the universe (say 13 billion years.) The simplest self reproducing cell is essential for "evolution" to have anything to "select". The simplest requires information processing, energy processing and materials processing systems all working together and all requiring each other to function. By contrast, intelligent causation is known to design intricate mechanisms. The cell is often described as "designed". We are just beginning to understand its incredible complexity. Similarly, I expect that bacteria cannot function or thrive without the flagellum. PS See Singer's papers: In 2007, studies Singer co-authored found tropospheric temperature trends of 'Climate of the 20th Century' models differed from satellite observations by twice the model mean uncertainty. Models of layers near 5 km were 100% to 300% higher than observation, and above 8 km models and observations had opposite signs. David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, & S. Fred Singer, A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions, International Journal of Climatology, 2007. http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer | title = Altitude Dependence of Atmospheric Temperature Trends: Climate Models vs Observation, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, Vol. 31, L13208, (2004). Cite as: arXiv:physics/0407074v1 [physics.geo-ph], http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0407/0407074.pdf See S. Frank Singer & Dennis T. Avery, ''Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years'', updated edition 2008, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., ISBN: DLH
How about the frogamander fossil that's making the news? Does ID have anything to say on that? Mavis Riley
These issues parallel Intelligent Design vs Evolution in science -reevaluating the data with different models, with major societal consequences.
I think you may be over egging the pudding there somewhat. One issue has potential for people starving, food riots etc. The other issue, to be frank, mostly affects already affluent westerners with the luxury of time to sit and speculate on the nature of reality. I don't recall any deaths being caused by Intelligent Design Advocacy. In any case, I'm more interested in this
reevaluating the data with different models
I've heard this before. Same data mutiple intrepretations. With climate it's obvious. You take the "data" and create new models for it. What is the analogue in ID please? DLH could you give me an example of how the "same" data is reevaluated and different conclusions are drawn? Obviously something vague like "the fossil record" is not what I'm after. That's easy. Anything more concrete? More specific with actual pratical consequences that can be the basis for more research? A single example of taking a set of "data" and showing us how ID explains it "better" then the standard understanding please. Mavis Riley
Yeah, they do that a lot when someone denounces their religion. F2XL

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