Texas Joins In On The Science-Denial Trend

The state of Texas has jumped on the science-denial bandwagon currently gripping the right-wing. Texas has challenged the EPA findings that greenhouse gas emissions are classified as “dangerous,” claiming that the findings are based on flawed science. This is of course a false and absurd claim coming from the leading greenhouse gas emitter of the U.S.

Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional director over Texas, said the agency is confident the finding will withstand any legal action. He also said the move isn’t surprising considering Texas’ pattern of opposition to the EPA.

“Texas, which contributes up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial sources in the United States, should be leading the way in this effort,” he said. “Instead, Texas officials are attempting to slow progress with unnecessary litigation.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said it’s the first legal challenge by a state, though industry groups have also challenged it.

Texas says the EPA’s research should be discounted because it was conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for its work on climate change but has since been embarrassed by errors and irregularities in its reports.

(Nobody ever successfully connected the so-called “Climategate” hacking incident, which I assume are the “errors & irregularities” mentioned, and the matter of the Greenhouse Gas Effect or the Climate Science findings as a whole in any way except political partisans with obvious Big Energy funding and absolutely no facts to back up the case they make.)

The guys and gals of The Great State of Denial, good ol’ Texas, seem to hold different standards of The Scientific Method and Comparative Analysis. Maybe those words are just too big for Texas.

I see this as just a symptom of a much larger problem breeding under the surface: the praise of ignorance over knowledge; the willful destruction of critical thinking.

The “debate” over climate change can be settled in moments by the most simple process of comparing the credibility of the sources and the amount of raw data on both ends. There is not a debate going on in the scientific community, there is a consensus with a few skeptic holdouts that have almost all published debunked papers at some point or another, but within the political community and the business community they would like very much for this issue to be up for debate. But it’s not, an overwhelming body of evidence exists in favor of Climate Science and skeptics fail to bring any new data (“Climategate” was the biggest joke on conservatives and their complete inability to rationally review data ever) so it’s simply “denial” and nothing more from these Big Money influenced talking heads. The Deniers and the Consensus; Texas just put itself on the side of the Deniers.

What lies under the surface here is the desire to squelch all rational discussion and replace it with bumper-sticker sound bytes. If anyone dares speak out against these ridiculous claims circulating and tries to use facts instead of rhetoric, then you can bet they will start up the personal attacks and just making even more broad claims about more unproven garbage. If you are even perceived as “smart” then you must be a “elitist liberal” who will only “lie to confuse you.” They are teaching people to hate intelligence and love stupidity in the once great state of Texas, all in the name of keeping their rich friends happy and scoring cheap political points while they are at it too.

Advertisements

Hacked “Climategate” Emails Did Prove One Thing

(NCTimes.com Blogs)

I keep my eye on politics, and since the uploading of some illegally obtained data from Britain’s CRU the political right wing has lost it’s mind. Science-denial has gripped them and they intend to brow-beat on anyone who questions their faulty logic. This hacking incident being called “Climategate” by the anti-environmentalist right wingers has brought to light to discerning observers that these people are divorced from all logic and rational thought. That they would defend any notion that fit into their preconceived world view regardless of an insurmountable body of research that clearly amounts to scientific fact.

The fact that almost every person the right supports this flawed and debunked theory that these emails prove anything beyond a level of professional bias being enacted against skeptics of the CRU is absurd.

Britain and the U.S. have a high number of global warming deniers and in the aftermath of this hacking it is found that the hackers are likely members of such a group in Britain so it is much like the other propaganda crusades of the right.

There is clear evidence of a willful ignorance on behalf of these people locked in outright denial.

Sara Palin wrote on her Facebook page recently:

this is doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that makes the public feel like owning an SUV is a sin against the planet.”

I find it laughable that a woman who pushed scare tactics like “he [Obama] associates with terrorists” during the campaign suddenly thinks alarmism is so awful.

Her “environmental priesthood” is scientists around the world and not just environmentalists like myself. She is suggesting the that scientific community is invested in some larger scheme and it is completely manufactured on her part.

And this climate science is not designed to make “the public feel” anything. Science stands on it’s own, apart from this hyperbolic standard she has set up.

Al Gore responded to Palin’s comments:

GORE: Well, the scientific community has worked very intensively for 20 years within this international process, and they now say the evidence is unequivocal. A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a — a principle in physics. It’s not a question of debate. It’s like gravity; it exists.

What many environmentalists are loathe to point out is that like all recent science there is “wiggle room” around different aspects of the science in regards to causality, though most studies confirm the notion that man-made greenhouse gasses are the primary factor contributing to global climate change. The elements here that are simply not up for debate are exactly the elements the conservatives have grabbed on to and frankly at a certain point I have to just laugh.

Michael Oppenheimer, Director of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Department of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School:

There is a mountain of scientific evidence pointing to human-caused climate change; all available to any skeptic. Colder than normal October in the US is not a climate trend, no matter how often it is repeated on uneducated blogs and by unintelligent cable news pundits. It remains true that Earth has warmed more than 1 degree (F) over the last century largely due to buildup of human-made greenhouse gasses. It remains the case that the projections of future climate change are every bit as discouraging as they were before the recent flap began.

Joseph Romn, physicist of the Center for American Progress:

Evidence of global warming is getting clearer, while opponents are redoubling their efforts at misinformation-disinformation campaigns.

“ClimateGate” and the Biased Conservative Media

Have you heard the latest right-wing, anti-environmentalist talking point?

ClimateGate

Tony Hake of The San Francisco Examiner was one of the first to break the real story on the web:

Britain’s Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, suffered a data breach in recent days when a hacker apparently broke into their system and made away with thousands of emails and documents. The stolen data was then posted to a Russian server and has quickly made the rounds among climate skeptics.

The electronic break in itself has been verified by the director of the research unit, Professor Phil Jones. He told Britain’s Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition “It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”

Update, 3:45pm MDT: In regards to the authenticity, not one report disputing the veracity of the emails has come out. Many sources have talked to some of the email authors and they have not disputed the messages.

Megan McArdle commented on the matter under pressure from her readers at The Atlantic:

I’d say that the charge that climate skeptics “are not published in peer reviewed journals” just lost most of its power as an argument against the skeptics.  But I don’t see any reason to think that the AGW scientists have actually falsified data to create a consensus reality which is known to be false-to-fact.  What I see is that the people who are the custodians of the currently dominant paradigm have an unhealthy ability to exclude people who might challenge that paradigm from expressing those views in important forums.  Powerful scientists using their power to marginalize anyone who might challenge the authority of them, or their views, is sadly not uncommon in the history of science.

That doesn’t mean their paradigm is wrong; rather, it means we need to be less romantic about the practice of science.  No scientific consensus is ever as powerful as its proponents claim, because no scientists are ever as perfect as we’d like to imagine.

Wired.com has covered the issue from mainly an internet-based perspective:

The stolen cache includes more than 1,000 e-mails and more than 3,000 documents, some containing code. They were posted anonymously to an FTP server in Russia. The hacker then posted a link to the 61-MB file of data on the blog Air Vent.

The hacker’s message that accompanied the link read: “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents.”

The e-mails, which cover a decade of correspondence, are getting a lot of attention among bloggers who point to statements in them that they say suggest the scientists colluded and manipulated data to support their global warming viewpoints.

Bloggers allege that an e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that reality contradicts scientific claims about global warming.

But Trenberth, who acknowledged the e-mail is genuine, says bloggers are missing the point he’s making in the e-mail by not reading the article cited in it. That article – An Imperative for Climate Change Planning — actually says that global warming is continuing, despite random temperature variations that would seem to suggest otherwise.

The right-wing biased media sources and persons were sure to spread this around as solid truth, and most likely have no interest in considering the source of these emails as well the entirely of the body of science rather than a single entity.

To wrap a bow on the bias dripping over every inch of conservative-media from Fox News to Real Clear Politics here is a real-time political polling statistic from RCP:

Direction of Country — RCP Average

Right Direction

37.7

Wrong Track

57.2

Spread -19.5

The “wrong track” is getting more and more obvious to more and more Americans by the day to be the conservative ideology, and these numbers they reluctantly post are growing proof that I am right about this assertion.

When it comes to rushing to interpret the facts without any level of rational approach and spreading self-superior biased media they are still the all time champions.

Global Warming: Politi-Science or Fact?

Let’s crack this egg wide open.

Here’s what I understand so far:

————————————————————

Years back, a group of scientists came together and presented a case to the world based on their work.

 

They sought to show essentially three items:

 

a) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gases are increasing due to human action.

 

b) CO2 causes a green-house gas effect that causes global warming. Global warming causes extreme climate change including extreme colds, warms and weather.

 

c) Unless CO2 levels decrease worldwide the planet will be damaged beyond a repairable state.

————————————————————

Now another group of scientists recently came out to try to disprove the ‘global warming agenda’ citing their own evidence.

 

They are seeking to show essentially these three items:

 

a) CO2 is a natural gas that is less harmful to environment than reported previously. Harmful gases such Carbon Monoxide should fall under government regulation but not CO2.

 

b) They have studied the green-house gas effect data presented and do not concur that this is the cause of climate change. The planet is undergoing cyclical changes not recorded previously due to lack of technology required. 

 

c) CO2 levels and their mandated decrease is ‘politicizing science’ and not a scientific agenda but rather an anti-industry agenda.

————————————————————

 

I don’t pretend to have all the facts on this but I’ve listened to a lot of commentary on it, I can assure you.

 

The bottom line is that no significant figure in any government is coming forward about the one important issue to address:

 

CAN WE LIMIT CO2 GAS EMISSIONS AND CONTINUE TO GROW AS AN INDUSTRIAL NATION?

 

Those versed in this topic will know that certain major super-power nations (China & Russia) refuse to participate in carbon credit programs or CO2 gas mandates on their industries.

 

They believe that regulating such gases will cause a loss of profit necessary to maintain their populations. Or a similar case made in defense of themselves.

 

I would like to take the time and read both of these studies and all the data and every professional I can find who ever said / wrote anything about it. But this is what I see. One side brings a valid argument about how far we can do these actions and remain strong in industry and the other side brings a valid point that once enough damage is done in ignorance there is no return from ruin.

 

Michael Crichton, famed author, held the opinion before his death in 2008 that the combining of politics and science was something he saw as very possible in coming years and very dangerous in its nature. I tend to agree with the author of “Jurassic Park” but I don’t know if I fully trust some internet downloaded research data, and I’m not flying of to foreign countries to gather up all the documents either.

 

I just want to focus on empirical evidence when we talk science and focus on personal conviction when he talk politics. That’s all. Is that some crazy request?

 

I feel it important for those who didn’t know to know that the worldwide scientific community accepts the idea of green house gases effecting current climate changes.

 

————————————————————

 

And let us not forget the pure-politics side of this:

 

Former American Vice-President Al Gore of the Democratic Party has run up the ideological hill and he is not coming back down on this one.

 

He is behind the ‘carbon credit’ concept along with others. Gore remains one of the most controversial figures in certain circles of America because of his intractability on the global warming crisis-issue.

 

The Republican Party, long before any but bought-off scientists said word one on global warming, decried the whole thing a myth created in some liberal agenda book or manifested by what some called ‘religious-environmentalism.’

 

The study I mention are not bought-off scientists, as far my informational sources provide, but rather simply dissenting scientists from the group of scientists that initially presented the whole concept.

 

In the campaign for The White House this year (2008) each campaign had the same line on global warming:

 

“We need to do something about global climate change.”

 

The critical thing to know is that the vocal conservatives, prior to the RNC speech of John McCain where he directly addressed global warming, there was a constant smearing and mocking attitude of people who wanted to speak out on this issue of climate change. Then all of sudden they just stopped talking about it and mocking anyone about that. Not one more mention of those ‘crazy global warming kooks,’ for quite a long time.

 

I tend to believe they and most outspoken-Republicans did was actually read what I read when it came out like 8 years ago and now I can’t remember the name of. The Global Warming Treaty let’s call it for now, because that’s easy for me.

 

Another strange hush-factor that struck the limited-conservatives during the campaign is the whole immigration issue.

 

That’s another issue entirely but both candidates and the right-wing media just completely shut their traps on that issue, almost entirely to date.

 

The only reason it’s significant to bring up is that these loons that call others ‘Enviro-Nazis’ also bashed anyone who didn’t want to ‘kick the bums out of my country.’ They did this ten-fold on John McCain when he sought some kind of solution oriented legislation on the issue. Now they feel better about starting those old lines up again but nobody seems to want to actually do anything about it over in what I hear from Republican-land.

 

It is like a willingness to shove your head in the sand as far it will go. Then leave it there for the course of an entire campaign.

 

Evidence that the Republican Party is willing to engage in not only ‘Politi-science’ tactics but to a willing blindness to anything that is a serious issue in the nation. 

 

They just want to talk about homosexuality or atheism while we go broke and choke to death.

 

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

December 22nd 2008