What am I doing with a blog?

Awww…heck. I dunno.

quick thought April 6, 2007

Filed under: environment — himbly @ 2:06 pm

Not much time to go fully into this but predicting the weather next week and predicting how many degrees the climate will rise in a decade are different things that require different processes and that’s why you can’t really compare them.

UPDATE: I just wanted to post a link to where I discussed stuff like this before.

Which do you hate? the environment or the celebrity? April 3, 2007


Which do you hate? the environment or the celebrity? April 3, 2007

Filed under: environment — himbly @ 7:09 pm

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Like I mentioned somewhere before, I go to a few ‘conservative’ or ‘right wing’ blogs fairly regularly. Firstly, folks is folks. Secondly, I wouldn’t know what the ‘other side’ of the issues are if I didn’t…or that even some issues still exist! I was shocked, for instance, to find that feminism was still on the block. I had to check the year.

So, before I start back to reading about such fairytale things as kittens who can talk and pronouns and reflexives and princesses, and while I finish this delightful salad made of tomatoes and bocconcini, I am going to try to lay down my confusion about environmentalism.

Mainly I know about the ‘right’ side of the debate via bloggers. These bloggers hate environmentalism as a movement, they hate David Suzuki, and they hate Al Gore. Now…I linked a couple bloggers that, although I disagree with them on many fronts, are good and intelligent people.

Why, though, whenever the topic of environmentalism comes up, do they go on about the celebrities?

I’ll tell you a secret. I never saw An Inconvenient Truth from beginning to end. When I was a projectionist, however, I played it probably over 10 times. Projectionists, as I’ve discussed before, have a unique view of films…and not only from a small window up above the audience. We get to see them over and over and especially specific parts. Anyway…the point here is that although I think we are environmentally in trouble if we don’t change our ways, I don’t like Al Gore either. Yeah. I don’t. I didn’t like the film. You know what the film said to me? Campaign. That’s what.

You think with George Bush screwing up all over the place (oh, shut up…he is so screwing up) that the Democrats haven’t pulled out their most recognizable faces to start promoting causes? I don’t care how long Al Gore has been on the environmental issue…he could really believe in it, too…he’s out there to make up for looking like a dork the first time around.

However….I think it is important that information gets out there.

I think that we humans are a pretty crafty bunch. We’re also lazy. We can get through this if we make changes and we’re only going to make changes if we are educated. And here’s the thing about being educated…not everything you hear is bang on the money. Unfortunately, you’ve got to sift. That means a little thinking without throwing babies out with bathwater.

Yes…I think what is going on right now in the media borders on fear-mongering. In some cases. I think some think we are doomed and are saying so, and I think that others think we’re not doomed, but are trying to scare us into action. It’s alright to be annoyed by that, as long as you know what you’re being annoyed by. Fear mongering does not mean the essence of what they’re saying isn’t true…and, I find it ironic that it seems to some people to be okay when George W Bush does it.

If you hate Al Gore, then hate Al Gore. But whether Al Gore drives an SUV or kicks puppies does not mean that we don’t have an environmental issue and that climate change/global warming wasn’t caused by us. Whenever the topic comes up, those who deny global warming go on about ‘liberals’ and ‘environmentalists’ and David Suzuki and Al Gore, but they don’t seem to address the actual issue.

Do you think that global warming/climate change is a natural phenomenon or do you think that it is caused by us?

Because these guys think it’s caused by us. It says so here:

We read 928 abstracts published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 and listed in the database with the keywords “global climate change.” Seventy-five percent of the papers either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view. The remaining 25 percent dealt with other facets of the subject, taking no position on whether current climate change is caused by human activity. None of the papers disagreed with the consensus position. There have been arguments to the contrary, but they are not to be found in scientific literature, which is where scientific debates are properly adjudicated. There, the message is clear and unambiguous.

I don’t know how much more scientific one needs to get. I’m not sure 928 abstracts published in scientific journals is going to be biased toward the “liberal media”.

In fact, listening to podcasts of Scientific American, BBC, CBC (yes…I know…BBC and CBC are dirty dirty lefties, whatever, but can we agree on Scientific American?) there is no debate. One CBC podcast I listened to recently discussed how journalists have been playing up this angle of a debate over climate change, but in fact there is no debate. Scientists generally agree. See above.

I am, myself, a ‘budding scientist’. It may be surprising to some that linguistics is a science, but it is. The theoretical stuff needs to be proved and proved again…but I’m doing the empirical stuff. I am currently learning how to create and design experiments so that I can scientifically observe stages of language development in children. So, as part of my ongoing preparation, I have read countless scientific articles on psychology, linguistics, anatomy and physiology, speech and language disorders…stuff like that. Stacks. I know that science about human cognitive function is not the same as earth science, but there are some principles that apply. For instance…get used to probabilities. The reason scientists can only give you odds is because that’s all they’re able to do without actually being clairvoyant.

And…scientists argue. In my program we are taught to look at articles critically, so by now, there’s something I don’t like about almost everything I read (this training, by the way, has made me a bigger a-hole than ever before). However, there are things that most researchers can come together on and say ‘we know this’. When 928 peer-reviewed and published papers agree on one thing…your odds that it’s correct are pretty good…especially since all the ‘nay-saying’ totalled up to zero.

The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all issued statements concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling.

Global climate change is “very likely” to have been human-induced, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded.

That’s not coming from Al Gore or David Suzuki. I’m not sure what else anyone wants.

A good article that I still need to finish reading is over at Pandagon.