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Monday, February 19, 2007

Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour Warms the Globe!

Okay, which of these items is from the new political satire show, Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour and which is not???

HOUSE HEARING ON 'WARMING OF THE PLANET' CANCELED AFTER ICE STORM

The Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building has been postponed due to inclement weather. The hearing is entitled “Climate Change: Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Contributing to a Warming of the Planet?”

OR...

"Congressman Dennis Kucinich says he'll try to bring back the fairness doctrine, a measure aimed at restricting conservative talk radio. Unfortunately, he said it on Air America Radio so nobody heard it!"

I report, you decide! I suppose that Air America is global-warming friendly since almost no one is listening to their particular brand of hot air. This brings us to the two topics for the day:

1) Global Warming
2) The Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour

Global Warming Redux

Yep, I've made a few posts
about Global Warming, like here.
Also here
and here
and here
and here
and here.
Darned if it didn't all start from here!

I have waited patiently for commenters to refute the facts presented by me in these columns and they have failed miserably. One of them insists upon changing the discussion to whether or not I am still a YEC proponent. For instance:

I said: "I took a great deal of time to make a subsequent post on the subject of global warming in order to give commenters a chance to refute my points and give myself time to get some work done and a few other projects. Commenters have failed miserably to refute the stated facts as follows:

The Earth's average temperature has been fluctuating for the whole of recorded history, long before fossil fuels were in widespread use or anyone had invented the term, "carbon footprint." No one has been able to refute this obvious fact. I didn't think that they could."

Creeper said: On the contrary, Radar, you haven't been able to back this up, and we've been waiting for you to do so.

Creeper, bad form. I submitted the data and made the statements. It is up to you to try to find evidence to refute. But you cannot, which I knew already, so you obfuscate instead.

Last time I checked the comments on the previous posts, the ball was in your court to attempt the feat of backing up these "facts" without becoming an Old Earth Creationist in the process.

Now Creeper tries to change the argument away from Global Warming to deflect the scrutiny upon the evidence I had presented. The ball is still in your court and it appears you are unable to return it.

Your silence and subsequent evasion tells me that this is yet another circle you can't square, and yet another question you wish to walk away from.

What silence? I presented evidence and links and commentary from other sources. You have come back with.....nothing so far. Nada. Zip.

Please tell us the temperature cycles of the Earth from a YEC perspective, that is, excluding those layers and layers of rocks, ice cores and tree rings that you need to deny in order to keep a YEC worldview alive. Have any YECers done any research compatible with their beliefs into this issue, or do they all practice a collective mental disconnect, in which one kind of science applies to anything not to do with evolution, and another pseudo-science (one that excludes dendrochronology, ice cores etc.) that is slapped together to prop up YEC in some way?

Perhaps a post on ice cores and etc. would be a good one? I will likely make one soon just because you brought it up as if it were some insurmountable point of a debate that I have been avoiding. Meanwhile, how about at least trying to dispute the evidence I presented? Wow.

Lava said this, by the way: Radar- do you it would be proper for me to take what you say, and then extrapolate from these quotes and make blanket statements about conservatives as a whole--how they think and act? (I was writing this question thinking I'd obviously get a "no" answer, but now that I read it over, I'm not quite so sure).

Lava, my friend, I am a blogger and sometimes I need to make a point by going overboard to get comments going. I don't think all liberals are the same, no. Some of them are loony-toons who wear tinfoil hats to the beach and put signs on their vehicles reading, Chimpeach. (hmm, that was catchy...) Some of them are, like you, thoughtful individuals with whom I most often disagree.

In truth, why there are so many liberals who not only believe in Global Warming but believe it is fact rather than speculation and believe it with such fervor they are willing to practically call for censorship and mass jailings of dissidents over the issue is way beyond me.

David Harsanyi says that it is just another fad that will fade away:

"The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?

Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was one of the first Canadian Ph.Ds. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.

What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don't pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. "It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species," wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

I was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as I am to the threats made about Global Warming. Let me stress I am not denying the phenomenon has occurred. The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA) that has generally continued to the present. These climate changes are well within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

No doubt passive acceptance yields less stress, fewer personal attacks and makes career progress easier. What I have experienced in my personal life during the last years makes me understand why most people choose not to speak out; job security and fear of reprisals. Even in University, where free speech and challenge to prevailing wisdoms are supposedly encouraged, academics remain silent.

I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.

In another instance, I was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies. That is a lie. Apparently he thinks if the fossil fuel companies pay you have an agenda. So if Greenpeace, Sierra Club or governments pay there is no agenda and only truth and enlightenment?

Personal attacks are difficult and shouldn't occur in a debate in a civilized society. I can only consider them from what they imply. They usually indicate a person or group is losing the debate. In this case, they also indicate how political the entire Global Warming debate has become. Both underline the lack of or even contradictory nature of the evidence.

I am not alone in this journey against the prevalent myth. Several well-known names have also raised their voices. Michael Crichton, the scientist, writer and filmmaker is one of them. In his latest book, "State of Fear" he takes time to explain, often in surprising detail, the flawed science behind Global Warming and other imagined environmental crises.

Another cry in the wildenerness is Richard Lindzen's. He is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology - especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans. Yet nobody seems to listen.

I think it may be because most people don't understand the scientific method which Thomas Kuhn so skilfully and briefly set out in his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." A scientist makes certain assumptions and then produces a theory which is only as valid as the assumptions. The theory of Global Warming assumes that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and as it increases temperatures rise. It was then theorized that since humans were producing more CO2 than before, the temperature would inevitably rise. The theory was accepted before testing had started, and effectively became a law.

As Lindzen said many years ago: "the consensus was reached before the research had even begun." Now, any scientist who dares to question the prevailing wisdom is marginalized and called a sceptic, when in fact they are simply being good scientists. This has reached frightening levels with these scientists now being called climate change denier with all the holocaust connotations of that word. The normal scientific method is effectively being thwarted.

Meanwhile, politicians are being listened to, even though most of them have no knowledge or understanding of science, especially the science of climate and climate change. Hence, they are in no position to question a policy on climate change when it threatens the entire planet. Moreover, using fear and creating hysteria makes it very difficult to make calm rational decisions about issues needing attention.

Until you have challenged the prevailing wisdom you have no idea how nasty people can be. Until you have re-examined any issue in an attempt to find out all the information, you cannot know how much misinformation exists in the supposed age of information.

I was greatly influenced several years ago by Aaron Wildavsky's book "Yes, but is it true?" The author taught political science at a New York University and realized how science was being influenced by and apparently misused by politics. He gave his graduate students an assignment to pursue the science behind a policy generated by a highly publicised environmental concern. To his and their surprise they found there was little scientific evidence, consensus and justification for the policy. You only realize the extent to which Wildavsky's findings occur when you ask the question he posed. Wildavsky's students did it in the safety of academia and with the excuse that it was an assignment. I have learned it is a difficult question to ask in the real world, however I firmly believe it is the most important question to ask if we are to advance in the right direction."


Hmmm..."a matter of faith"...."concensus was reached before research had even begun"....that sounds about right. Greenpeacers think up global warming, declare it to be a fact, and then begin research in hopes of proving it.....and have come up empty. Why? Are there people who are determined to prove than mankind has great control over the planet? Are there people who are determined to control every conceivable aspect of our lives? Are there elitists who wish to rule the world because they know better than the common folk? Are there great numbers of loonies who love new and improved causes? Are there great numbers of folks who want global warming to be a manmade phenomenon???? I find it all very puzzling, but one thing I am sure of: Global Warming is not controlled by man, any more than global cooling is controlled by man! We still cannot make it rain over deserts or stop hurricanes before they begin or predict or defuse tornadoes. We can't alter the ocean's tides nor can we even accurately predict whether it will snow in my town a week from today.

Oh yeah, That Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour!

I got carried away
with the global warming thingy, sorry. Yes, I watched it and thought it was hilarious at times and too true at times (The ACLU commercials were all too true and not really all that funny). I think the show has promise as kind of a counterpoint of sorts to "The Daily Show." Conservatives will tend to enjoy it and liberals will tend to hate it.

Unfair and unbalanced is the motto. For the show to be a success, it will have to begin being filmed within a week of airing so that it can be timely, and there will have to be some skewering of the good guys, too. John Stewart has been known to take a shot at inviting liberal targets like John Kerry from time to time. If F1/2HNH is to be successful, they'll need to fire a shot across the bow of a John McCain or a Dick Cheney from time to time as opportunity arises.

The anchors (Jenn Robertson and Kurt Long as "Jennifer Lange" and "Kent McNally") are perfect for their roles...the facial expressions of Jenn are Jane Curtin-esque. If they are given fresh and timely material to work with the show will succeed.

Could you tell which of the two lead items was from Sunday Night's show and which was simply a straight news item? I'm not sure which one was the funniest...I report, you decide!

12 comments:

loboinok said...

Okay, which of these items is from the new political satire show, Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour and which is not???

"Congressman Dennis Kucinich says he'll try to bring back the fairness doctrine, a measure aimed at restricting conservative talk radio. Unfortunately, he said it on Air America Radio so nobody heard it!"

That is a funny show! I'll be watching.


In another instance, I was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies. That is a lie.

Interesting... I had just read a piece about him, just before coming over here.

Canadian Values

Anonymous said...

"Creeper said: On the contrary, Radar, you haven't been able to back this up, and we've been waiting for you to do so."

"Creeper, bad form. I submitted the data and made the statements. It is up to you to try to find evidence to refute. But you cannot, which I knew already, so you obfuscate instead."


1. You submitted data based on methods whose validity you have denied in the past.

Can we take it that you now admit that dendrochronology, ice cores etc. can be allowed as evidence to allow us to make conclusions about our planet's past that stretches tens and hundreds of thousands of years into the past?

It's fine by me, dude, but it blows your whole YEC scenario out of the water.

On the other hand, if you want to take all that off the table, you no longer have that comforting cushion of cycles lasting tens of thousands of years that would allow us to conclude that present fluctuations are nothing to be worried about.

Take your pick. Or come up with a way to square the circle. It was your inability to do so up to this point that I was referring to when I mentioned your "silence and evasion".

2. Why is it up to me "to try to find evidence to refute"? I said pretty clearly that I hadn't yet made up my mind on this issue. I'm not automatically obligated to oppose you on anything and everything. That doesn't stop me from pointing out the fallacies in your arguments.


"Last time I checked the comments on the previous posts, the ball was in your court to attempt the feat of backing up these "facts" without becoming an Old Earth Creationist in the process."

"Now Creeper tries to change the argument away from Global Warming to deflect the scrutiny upon the evidence I had presented. The ball is still in your court and it appears you are unable to return it."


I'm not obligated "to return it", since I have not chosen to oppose your conclusion. I do think your argument has a number of problems, and that's not even counting the number of minor fallacies and mistakes in your past few posts, which I haven't even gone into yet, since I was waiting for you to come to grips with the glaring problem at the heart of your argument.

Now, how exactly can you call it "changing the subject" when I move from (A) "Global Warming" to (b) the so-called evidence you presented to back up your position on the very subject of "Global Warming"? How is that "changing the subject"? It's the same subject.

Like it or not, the exact argument you're presenting re. global warming is based on the assumption of an old earth.


"Your silence and subsequent evasion tells me that this is yet another circle you can't square, and yet another question you wish to walk away from."

"What silence?"


To be specific, the silence between my respectively last comment on your three blog posts before this and your respective subsequent blog posts (more so the first and the third than the pause after the middle one).

"I presented evidence and links and commentary from other sources. You have come back with.....nothing so far. Nada. Zip."

I've presented the rather obvious objection to your "evidence" that it is based on methods whose validity you have denied and which you must deny to hang on to your belief in a YEC scenario.

That ain't nothing - it's actually something that you're making very clear with every subsequent evasive post is something you are unable to address.

I'll happily accept your concession, but I just don't know on which topic:

Are you going to concede that YEC doesn't hold up, given the evidence of ice cores, dendrochronology etc.?

Or are you going to concede that there isn't sufficient evidence to conclude tens of thousands of similar temperature cycles that allow us to conclude that current climate fluctuations are nothing to worry about?

Take your pick.

Either that, or try to answer the following:

"Please tell us the temperature cycles of the Earth from a YEC perspective, that is, excluding those layers and layers of rocks, ice cores and tree rings that you need to deny in order to keep a YEC worldview alive. Have any YECers done any research compatible with their beliefs into this issue, or do they all practice a collective mental disconnect, in which one kind of science applies to anything not to do with evolution, and another pseudo-science (one that excludes dendrochronology, ice cores etc.) that is slapped together to prop up YEC in some way?"

"Perhaps a post on ice cores and etc. would be a good one? I will likely make one soon just because you brought it up as if it were some insurmountable point of a debate that I have been avoiding."


That would be great, Radar.


"Meanwhile, how about at least trying to dispute the evidence I presented? Wow."

I'll have a look at the fallacies in your last post. You didn't address the fallacies I mentioned in the post preceding that one (where I pointed out that your accusations of fallacies had (at least with regard to me) been made erroneously), so I assume you happily concede all those.


As for the evidence you presented, I guess you're talking about the John Carlisle quote.

If I can for the time being assume that you're willing to dump your belief in YEC, since it is incompatible with the information you now champion, then yes, it is interesting that there have been climate fluctuations in the past. It certainly would be a relief to find out that it's nothing to worry about.

What I find disconcerting, however, is this quote from Carlisle: "Known as the Medieval Warm Period, the temperature rose by more than 1° F to an average of 60° or 61° F, as much as 2° F warmer than today. Again, the temperature during this period is similar to Greenhouse predictions for 2100, a prospect global warming theory proponents insist should be viewed with alarm. But judging by how Europe prospered during this era, there is little to be alarmed about."

I looked for other data confirming this, and I found this: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/futuretc.html

Now surely, the Bush administration wouldn't lie to me about this. After all, they're not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, are they?

"The average surface temperature of the Earth is likely to increase by 2.5 to 10.4°F (1.4-5.8°C) by the end of the 21st century, relative to 1990 (see Figure 1). This projected rate of warming is about two to ten times greater than the warming observed during the 20th century and may represent a warming rate unprecedented for at least the last 10,000 years."

There's a lovely graph there that shows that the scenario that John Carlisle mentions (i.e. the best-case scenario, the one we don't need to worry about because something like it already happened less than a thousand years ago) and that makes the point that this is by no means a maximum, and that even if we drastically reduce emissions right now, we can still expect global temperatures to increase by 1°. On the other hand, they may increase by as much as 6°.

It's not exactly a partisan topic (or at least it doesn't need to be, IMO) and it bears thinking about.


-- creeper

Lava said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lava said...

In one paragraph you say this:
"Lava, my friend, I am a blogger and sometimes I need to make a point by going overboard to get comments going."

Then you say this in the next paragraph:
"In truth, why there are so many liberals who not only believe in Global Warming but believe it is fact rather than speculation and believe it with such fervor they are willing to practically call for censorship and mass jailings of dissidents over the issue is way beyond me."

So many? You point out one. Maybe that is one too many, but not what I'd call so many.

And radar, I can't wait for a response on creeper's thoughtful post here.

cranky old fart said...

Ya gotta answer Creeper some time radar.

What's it gonna be? The "inerrant" and literal word of god, or science? You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, another thing:

Regarding your extensive quote by Dr. Timothy Ball, I'd say the question mark in the title of his article "Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?" is very well-placed. Where are those cold, hard facts when you need them? His article is just a bunch of bluster and whining about his academic credentials and how he's not being listened to, accompanied by "the other side is wrong".

No cold, hard facts. Why does Dr. Tim Ball disagree? What specifically does he disagree with, and how would he like to back that up? There's no mention of it here.

So what kind of retort would be appropriate to something like this? Trotting out some guy with a bunch of doctorates from the other side, just so he can say "is too"? That wouldn't strike me as very satisfying, but then neither does Dr. Tim Ball's verbiage, and I'm puzzled as to why you thought it was worth linking to, let alone quoting.


(BTW, I've pointed out some of the fallacies in your preceding posts; you can see them in the comment sections of those posts.)


Radar, it's interesting to see your thought-patterns mirrored in subjects other than the usual evolution/creation "controversy", and I think it's quite illustrative: here you are falling for the most basic urban legends (and even attempting to create a new one along the way...) and opting for ad hominem attacks instead of actually examining the facts regarding the issue.

I also thought it was an interesting slip that you thought that discussing the evidence you trotted out to support your argument was somehow "changing the subject". You know, there is a connection between what you proclaim and the evidence you present to back it up.


-- creeper

scohen said...

Radar,
The main reason that I don't post here any more is that you don't seem to be interested in having a discussion with the commenters. Basically, they ask questions, and you post a (sometimes mocking) response. Where's the conversation?

I'd love to engage (though I don't know much about climate science) but it's just not worth it.

Can we get back to conversation at some time? Are you overwhelmed?

Anonymous said...

scohen,

"Are you overwhelmed?"

Radar's stuck between an indefensible position and his own pride. Since it is impossible for him to address these contradictions or to change his position, he keeps having to pretend the objections don't exist.

-- creeper

xiangtao said...

"Radar,
The main reason that I don't post here any more is that you don't seem to be interested in having a discussion with the commenters. Basically, they ask questions, and you post a (sometimes mocking) response. Where's the conversation?"

Ditto

radar said...

I do agree I have been lax, due to other things going on in my life it has been hard to get back to blogging. That is likely going to change for awhile after Monday, though. I am certain to make a post tomorrow and address some concerns, however....

Anonymous said...

Radar,

it's not so much the lack of time being spent, since of course we all need to have a life. It's the general tactic of evading difficult questions. I'm sure it doesn't take you less time to compose a lengthy evasive post than it would to compose a post that reacts to difficult questions. More honesty, yes, but not necessarily more time.

If your beliefs in a young earth preclude you from accepting that there were climate cycles stretching back tens of thousands of years, then what can you conclude about climate patterns from what you do accept? The patterns over the last millennium or two aren't enough to provide definitive comfort, and that's not even taking into account that a new factor (carbon emissions) is in play that didn't exist during any of those previous cycles. And even to go that far back would involve sources of information that you have previously dismissed so you could hang on to your belief in a YEC scenario.

Without those sources, you're stuck with detailed information that only goes back a couple of centuries, and you won't find much there to allow you to conclude that climate change is nothing to worry about.

I'm still looking at information about climate change from all angles and am far from making up my mind on the issue (which actually hinges on a number of interrelated important questions), but when you try to make the case that it is of no concern and have nothing to offer but ad hominem attacks re. Al Gore (including debunked urban legends as a bonus) and "liberals" as well as data based on an old earth, which you claim not to believe in, it really looks like you haven't given this much thought.

Which is fine, of course - the topic doesn't have to be important enough to you to invest any thought in it, but then why not blog about something that you actually have thought through? Or at least reserve judgment while you're thinking it through in public? You'd just end up looking foolish otherwise.

-- creeper

oriolebird38 said...

dude, i watched that Fox half hour news Daily Show wannabe. It was horrendous. I'm not going to act like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert don't have any bias, but they actually have some degree of understanding when it comes to comedy. The Fox show struck me more of:

Hey, did you hear about (liberal charicature)? He was talking about (liberal ideal) and said (ridiculous statement about said ideal) ::ba-dum crash::