Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Global Warming again

I'm not a scientist (2/3's of an undergrad pre-med education - which doesn't qualify me jor jack squat). I don't play one on TV. So I when I want to know about science, I ask a scientist.

Timothy Ball is a climatologist with impeccable scientific credentials. He has championed a thorough-going review of global warming claims. A recent interview has some gems for those who are skeptical of the claims made in the last decade. He also suggests a number of websites to read about further critiques. Here's a sampling of some of his inconvenient truths:
“...consensus is not a scientific fact.”

'[T]hey have switched from talking about global warming to talking about climate change...since 1998 the global temperature has gone down -- only marginally, but it has gone down. In the meantime, of course, CO2 has increased in the atmosphere and human production has increased. So you've got what Huxley called the great bane of science -- “a lovely hypothesis destroyed by an ugly fact.” So by switching to climate change, it allows them to point at any weather event -- whether it's warming, cooling, hotter, dryer, wetter, windier, whatever -- and say it is due to humans. Of course, it's absolutely rubbish.'

“[T]he world has been warming since 1680 and the cause is changes in the sun. But in their computer models they hardly talk about the sun at all and in the IPCC summary for policy-makers they don't talk about the sun at all. And of course, if they put the sun into their formula in their computer models, it swamps out the human portion of CO2, so they can't possibly do that.”

Something I really appreciate is how he reminds us of things we should have known - like how the earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age and how beneficial the Medieval Warming Period was for human civilization (wiki articles - ymmv). Similarly, Archimedes Principle suggests that claims of low-level inundation are grossly inflated. I agree with him that the most likely player in terran climate change is the sun. This is backed up by repeated scientific observation and solid historical correlative data.

Anyway, it's something to look at. One thing I know for sure - I don't trust politicians playing scientists.

Monday, February 26, 2007

God of the oppressed and the oppressor

Why do people act as if God has an agenda of salvation for the poor/oppressed and damnation for the rich/oppressor? (Especially odd in folks who would never suffer anything that clear-cut in terms of non-economic/political morality.) Ecclesiastes 4:1 seems to lament that both oppressed and oppressor need a comforter (paraclete?). Moreover, it was a fundamental tenet of the Mosaic law that you don't give impartial favor to anybody - poor or rich!

Jesus ate with poor outcasts (prostitutes, etc.) and rich ones (e.g., Zaccheus). And let's not forget that he supped with Pharisees - the righteous orthodox - on a regular basis. Now that's the table-fellowshipping Jesus we need for today!