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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Global warming as artifact

Via Vox Popoli. The source material is here.

A team headed by meteorologist Anthony Watts decided to look at where temperature stations were reading, not just what they were reading. To greatly simplify, it might be important to know how many stations that were once located in vacant areas might now have buildings all around them, or are sitting on top of airport tarmacs. Half of the mean increase in temperature (and we are talking about an increase ranging from 0.3 C/decade to a statistical zero) may be purely an artifact of stations sited near exogenous heat sources. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Farmland is hotter than forest, cities are hotter than farmland.

Now, I'm actually willing to meet the environmentalists halfway on this. Yes, it's hotter in Atlanta and Phoenix. After all, there's more people with more farms and more cities filled with asphalt, steel and cars. Like the late Michael Crichton, I agree there are some real quality of life issues that need to be addressed.

The larger problem is the deification of science and technology, which are now employed in the service of gnostic ideals. "Climatology" (as opposed to the actual work of studying weather, meteorology) is just one aspect of this.

The HIV/AIDS hypothesis needs serious re-thinking. This supposed killer-freight train of a virus has, for several decades, stubbornly refused to spread beyond people with high-risk lifestyles. Could HIV be more an opportunistic virus for people whose immune systems are already compromised by hugely promiscuous levels of anal intercourse, drug use and infectious disease? I'm already committing a hatecrime.

The obesity-inducing USDA food pyramid: turns out the meat which sustained our evolution for a million years is actually good for you.

Cancer: we still just cut, poison or irradiate tumors and channel the research into different body parts. Nobody seems to be at work unravelling the deeper causes of metastasis, though perhaps someone in the field can educate me otherwise.

No critical thinking is being devoted to antibiotics and vaccines, i.e., that we may be reaching diminishing returns as these medicines put additional selection pressures on microbes.

In another area, the politically correct conclusion is that evolution only happens from the neck down and/or stopped 40,000 years ago.

And don't even get me started on the cargo cult mentality of the macro-economists, who supposedly advanced the field with their scientific and mathematical method. More on macro vs. micro later.

But back to global warming. Again, meeting the environmentalists halfway ultimately means smaller, "cleaner" cities which means fewer concentrated voting blocs on the receiving end of redistributive fiscal policy, and limiting the 1.5 million immigrants who arrive in the US each year wanting places to live and buy cellphones and dump their trash.

Science is no longer in the business of real world solutions. Ultimately, as I have predicted, the Left will tiptoe away from environmentalism just like they've tiptoed away from ethnic pride, the working class, local rule and other former causes. The Cathedral (the secular one) will equate "environmentalism" with "racism." When the debate boils down to granting mineral and timber rights in the national parks to fund socialized medicine, you can bet the SWPL backpackers won't win that fight.