Wednesday, March 15, 2006

get real, michael crichton

..listen to the rocket scientists now what's that, grandpa? global warming is a myth of the alarmist liberal media? the stem cell hysteria and its conflation with abortion? a deliberate lie? couldn't hear that last comment through the tinfoil hat, huh?

oh, no, you mean global warming is a myth like W's fiscal conservatism or Saddam's WMD, something which is non-existent but was generally assumed to be true, to be CW, until gruesomely proven otherwise. And while I don't think we should immediately shutter every factory, there is something justified in seeing all of the know-nothing theorists broken by mounting evidence. Some people just can't accept that there is an alteration in the global climate, something I think strongly correlated to a pathological hatred of the mechanistic aspects of classical evolution, leading to a politicizing of all life science issues, hence the conclusion dismissing climate warming as impossible because man can't affect the earth on scales that large.

Then they employ the old trick of bringing up their opponent's argument, by invoking the mystery of the Ice Age and how the earth just waxes and wanes in temperature naturally and if it is growing hotter it is just that, ignoring the growing immediacy of the issue
(via MSNBC):
Following two recent studies on changes to Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, NASA is touting a survey that it says confirms “climate warming is changing how much water remains locked in Earth’s largest storehouses of ice and snow.”

In a press release for the survey, NASA directly tied the changes to warming and described the survey as “the most comprehensive” ever in both regions.

That stand can in part be explained by lead author Jay Zwally’s warning.

“If the trends we’re seeing continue and climate warming continues as predicted, the polar ice sheets could change dramatically,” he said in the press release last Wednesday. “The Greenland ice sheet could be facing an irreversible decline by the end of the century.”


Oh, and the outrage of the people can make a difference, even at hide-bound bureaucracies like NASA:

A change in policy appears to be occurring after NASA scientist Jim Hansen complained about being silenced because of the Bush administration’s opposition to mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases that many scientists tie to global warming.

“A few months ago this press release might have been seriously edited or not approved,” Zwally said.

Based on satellite mapping of ice sheets and published in the Journal of Glaciology, the survey validated computer models projecting impacts on Earth from global warming.

“The survey documented for the first time extensive thinning of the West Antarctic ice shelves, an increase in snowfall in the interior of Greenland and thinning at the edges,” NASA said in the press release. “All are signs of a warming climate predicted by computer models.”

And what was the role of human carbon production in the ongoing melting of Greenland?
In the most recent press release, NASA did not directly tie the warming to humans and the burning of fossil fuels, which emits carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas.

But Zwally noted that the predicted climate warming cited in the press release is caused by manmade emissions. A natural warming cycle is technically possible, he said, but not likely given how closely the warming and models track.

Zwally said he expects to have even stronger satellite data within a year.

“We’re seeing the early signs of changes in the ice sheets,” he added. “The climate warming from greenhouse gases has really just started.”

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