Sometimes I simply have no idea why we do what we do. I’m sure you feel the same the way, because tonight, once again…as usual, we’re going to talk about a controversial topic. We keep doing it, and it is akin to masturbation – it serves no purpose ultimately because people make up their minds before any facts invade the portrait. The portrait this time is one of the “global warming” hysteria variety. I’m not a Conservative. I’m not a Liberal. I’m neither Democrat, nor Republican. I’m not quite sure what Andrew is, but he brought this rather lengthy essay to my attention two weeks ago after we did the “Superman” episode, and I made a valiant, respectable stab at reading it.
It’s titled, “What I Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled”, and it was written by David Siegel for Medium-dot-Com, and I will put the link in the show notes. How do we do a Cliff’s Notes version of this essay?
It’s interesting what he reveals in his opening paragraph.
“More than thirty years ago, I became vegan because I believed it was healthier (it’s not), and I’ve stayed vegan because I believe it’s better for the environment (it is). I haven’t owned a car in ten years. I love animals; I’ll gladly fly halfway around the world to take photos of them in their natural habitats. I’m a Democrat: I think governments play a key role in helping preserve our environment for the future in the most cost-effective way possible. Over the years, I built a set of assumptions: that Al Gore was right about global warming, that he was the David going up against the industrial Goliath. In 1993, I even wrote a book about it.”
The book is called “What is worth doing? A Conversation on Conservation”.
The writer makes ten statements, along the lines of there are no studies showing a conclusive link between global warming and increased frequency or intensity of storms, droughts, floods, cold or heat waves, most of what people call “global warming” is natural, not man-made, climate models are unpredictable, as is most weather anyway, so it’s not an exact science, there is no such thing as “carbon pollution”, Polar bear numbers are up, not down.
This is pretty much information I already knew. I have a habit of not believing anything anyone ever tells me anyway, so I try not to panic. I try not to become enraged, or indignant. I get indignant with behaviors more than anything else. Some things make me mad, I won’t deny it, but I don’t go nuts over the environment. I know that. So many people are misled, and they are misled in anger – that’s why this all seems so futile, because it’s not like we’re going to change minds tonight. I’m not particularly idealistic about changing minds and winning hearts. What I will say is that Science with a capital “S” is about examining and scrutinizing all arguments, not just bolstering the one idea you believe. It’s almost as if Science is a “religion” in that we tend to reject a group of ideas in favor of one idea we agree with. Science becomes a religion when you refuse to comprehend or acknowledge other points of view, and then it becomes stagnation, and we die a little as a culture.
David Siegel’s essay can be found here.
Afterword: This episode couldn’t be more timely. In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris two weeks ago, our leaders are trying to convince us global warming and climate change are more pressing problems than terrorism. What is your opinion? Leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.