Global Climate Change

Today I’m deep in some POV-Ray project work and waiting to see how the Los Angeles Dodgers do tonight at the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Dodgers have a tough boat to row; I think the Cards will have to stumble, and the Dodgers will have to be excellent. For two games.  I’d like to see it, but dot, dot, dot. The Detroit Tigers are in similar straits with the Boston Red Sox. It’s looking like the World Series will be red against red.

But due to something that came up in a conversation from yesterday’s article, I’m interrupting my previously scheduled day to bring you this special announcement:

I’m only going to say this once: Global climate change is real.

moon landingDenying the reality of global climate change is a lot like denying the Apollo moon landing. It’s also like denying the Earth is round. Or that the sky is blue.  It’s that preposterous.  It’s also that obviously false and easy to debunk.

The only reason to deny global climate change is ignorance, idiocy or ideology (kind of three ways of saying the same thing).

There is no basis in fact.  The idea that the climate is not changing is a deliberate lie. It’s not a misunderstanding, it’s not a difference of opinion, it’s not a mistake. This is not well-intentioned opposition, this is deliberate, systematic lying.

Notice that there are two questions:

  1. Is the global climate changing (and if so, how)?
  2. Is it our fault?

Sea Ice is vanishing!

The answer to the first question is an unmistakable, “Absolutely. It’s getting warmer!” The evidence is undeniable. Ice levels in the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland continue to drop. So do snow levels of many mountains. Those are just the blatantly obvious signs. This is not a matter for debate or opinion.  This is hard, physical fact.

The answer to the second also seems to be, “Yep, sure is.” There is a clear and overwhelming majority of people who’ve studied the situation, and they agree on what they’re seeing. It shows up in so many different ways of looking at the Earth.

But do not take my opinion. Do not take anyone’s opinion. Understand that assertions and claims are not reliable unless backed by facts and reason. You must check the facts for yourself.

Obama signs FEO

There he goes again!

A huge problem is that the ideological opposition lies about the facts. They have to; without the lies, they have no argument. Yesterday’s conversation turned up a great example of the Big Blatant Lie.  I hadn’t realized there was a B.B.L. circulating with regard to the number of Executive Orders written by President Obama.

[You know what: B.B.L. (Big Blatant Lie) is a good acronym! B.B.L. is pronounced “babble” — which is really very appropriate.]

It seems that this bit of BBL claims that President Obama has “written more Executive Orders than any other President.” The implication, of course, is that he’s some sort of Federal Tyrant issuing orders left and right.


Obama: 163
This guy: 3,522

Except that the simplest examination of the actual counts reveals the truth. Turns out that of the last 20 Presidents, Obama has written the fewest E.O.s of them all.  That’s right. The truth is the exact opposite of the Big Blatant Lie.  Imagine that.  What’s so revolting is that it’s trivial to check the reality.

Which brings me back to climate change deniers.

What do you suppose the odds are that the party of the BBL is lying here?

On the one hand, a vast majority of scientists and experts, whose profession is to seek the facts and who have a life time of expertise, are all saying one thing. A thing that seems obvious when you take any sort of real look at the situation.

CCD-HQOn the other hand, some folks saying, “Problem? What problem? I see no ice melting. I see no clear trend in the climate data. I don’t believe the experts, but I have some people telling me what I want to hear, so I believe them.”

If you’re open-minded (and you should be), you think, “Well, maybe they have a point… let’s check it out.”  But all you find is a lot of hand-waving, unsupported claims and many cases where it sure seems like Big Money is trying to protect its obscene wealth.

It’s one of many things that very, very wrong with this country.  I like — even prefer — living in a world with divergent views. It’s much more interesting than a world where everyone agrees and thinks the same.  Other points of view often give me new insights and help me grow.

But, my oh my, could we please, please stop with all the Big Blatant Lies?  It’s hard enough living in a world that is incredibly complex and challenging. Can we please try to seek and stick to the truth?

Phil Plait Death SkiesI’m not at all interested in debating this here, so comments are closed.

You shouldn’t trust a word I say, anyway. Check for yourself! I can’t stress that enough.

If you’d like to know more, a great place to start is Phil Plait‘s Bad Astronomy site. He’s engaging and funny and hugely educational. Many years ago, the Bad Astronomy web site specialized in debunking Moon landing deniers. In his current blog incarnation (which you should read regardless), he specializes in addressing climate change deniers. You can start with this article he wrote only days ago.  There are plenty more where that came from!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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