I ordinarily try to keep my posts to about two typed pages. You might think that sounds easy because whenever I write on a topic, I seldom have trouble deciding what to say about it. Instead, I usually have trouble deciding what to leave out. The consequence of this is that no matter how well I may (or may not) have made a point, I'm usually unsatisfied with the end product. There's always more I wished I'd said. I had not intended to make this a two part post but it seems I've stirred up little controversy of my own with my first post. So, I'm going to add a few more comments that I could have said in my first post.
For what it's worth, here are some of my thoughts about global warming. First, I'm a little puzzled why some scientists are so alarmed about a slight increase in the average global temperature over the last century or so. Don't most of these people also believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old? If that were true, then a century or two isn't a long enough period of time to be statistically significant. It's less than blip. Such a small sample is not sufficient to establish a trend but even assuming we can identify a trend how confident should we be in the measurements anyway? 100 years ago we had no satellites, no weather stations in Antarctica, or a fraction of the technology available to us now. Bill Clinton once said the 90's was the warmest decade of the last 500 years. Really? So when Columbus arrived in North America in 1492, did he ask the natives to begin recording temperature changes? I'm sure Captain Cook got the Aborigines busy in Australia but who was measuring the temperature at the poles about this time? Any warming trend seen in our measurements could be nothing more than more accurate measurements.
Secondly, I would like to point out that most people agree there was at least one ice age in the past. Do global warming alarmists lament the disappearance of glaciers from the lower 48 states? Certainly that warming trend wasn't the result of human activity – or did the Neanderthal equivalent of Al Gore run around telling other people to stop cooking their food because the fires were melting the ice? If there have been periods of cooling and warming in the past, why are some people surprised to see it happening now (assuming that it is happening)?
And speaking of Al Gore, this brings me to my final point: Al Gore once said that the earth was sick – “it has a fever”. Doesn't such a statement presuppose that we know what the ideal temperature of the earth should be. Well, what is it? Was the earth at its ideal temperature 100 or so years ago before the supposed trend began? Is it what the temperature is right now? Was the earth at its ideal temperature at the peak of the last ice age? Maybe the earth is heading toward the temperature it is “supposed” to be. And, of course, if warming and cooling is the usual condition of the earth over its (alleged) billions of years history, then our herculean efforts to reverse the current warming trend is for naught. Our efforts would be better spent preparing for life in a warmer world.
By the way, maybe a warmer world wouldn't be so bad. I hear people talking about “greenhouse gases” but do they understand that plants grow like crazy in greenhouses? Perhaps we could grow more food all year around. Maybe a more temperate climate would help us turn uninhabitable deserts into lush gardens. Maybe the polar caps could be turned into farm land.
Of course, many people disagree with me. I know because they've told me so; rather, I've been called, “a stupid, ignorant, lying, science-hater.” But tell me the truth: in spite of our disagreements, am I really being unreasonable by just asking these questions or having these doubts? I've asked these questions before and so have many others and I've not heard satisfactory answers. In many cases, I've not been given any answer. So is there something wrong with doubting? Even more than that, what is wrong with disagreeing?
This then, brings me back to the point of my post – the regime of the science Nazis. You see, to them, discussion is only allowed in the scientific community. Lay people (i.e. the masses) must comply with scientific consensus. You cannot question the establishment. You cannot hold personal beliefs contradictory to their agenda.
Ask yourself this: why exactly have they cast their lot so strongly one-sided in this debate? This isn't a matter of “religion in schools,” which is a criticism that has been raised against creationism. People who are suspect of climate change are objecting to the conclusions of some scientists but they're not objecting for religious reasons. There are things they're not convinced about. Some people don't believe there's a warming trend, or that it's man-made, or they may believe spending billions of dollars to reverse what is occurring naturally would be a huge waste of resources. These are scientific questions. These are political questions. They're not religious questions. Then why does the quasi-scientific group NCSE and others like them seek to squelch the debate?
Remember that the Nature article said, “25–30% of [surveyed] respondents reported that students, parents, administrators or other community members had argued with [educators] that climate change is not happening or that it is not the result of human activity.” Assuming that statistic is 100% accurate, what is the controversy? Are these educators so elite that they feel they must bring in the big guns to figure out how to keep people from disagreeing with them? Scott said their group is not a political think-tank. That's a lie. Their group is nothing else but a think-tank seeking ways to advance a liberal agenda. In the case of climate change, they have thrown their hat into the ring of a controversial, political issue and seek to equip educators with arguments to silence opposition. Would we stand still if an economics teacher sought advice from China on how to deal with his students who feel capitalism is superior to socialism?
If you are not convinced, let me ask also why educators believe it is a “threat” that school boards ask that they “teach the controversy”? If up to 1/3 of the teachers have been challenged about a controversial issue, then obviously a sizable percentage of the public questions it. As I asked in my reply to Steven J's comment, “Is it really better to teach kids to simply trust the overwhelming majority of scientists rather than teach them to consider both sides of an controversial issue like global warming?” Apparently these schools think so and so are not interested in presenting the evidence but rather want to allow kids to hear only a single view of the evidence. I would expect schools to be objective and noncommittal in such divisive issues. For school boards to ask teachers to present both sides of a controversial issue is only a threat if someone is afraid of students hearing both sides. Let me also remind you that it is precisely the job of the school boards and parents in the community to establish school curriculum. No matter how enlightened they think they are, it is not a “right” of the establishment to demand students be taught only what the scientific elite deems to be correct.
I don't mind having a discussion about global warming. I very much mind schools resorting to Scott and her ilk to figure out ways to end discussion. That's not an education. It's indoctrination.