Saturday, May 5, 2007

Another Creationist President?

Mike Huckabee doesn't think that belief in creationism or evolution matters to a potential President of the United States. He couldn't be more wrong. The "president" we have now has demonstrated time after time what happens when the most powerful man in the world doesn't understand, believe, or respect science or scientists. As Stephen Colbert likes to say, Bush makes his decisions from the gut and not the brain, and as Malcolm Gladwell pointed out on Colbert's show last week, that has put this country into a heap of trouble.

In the face of overwhelming evidence and a nearly-unanimous consensus from reputable scientists, Huckabee refuses to accept evidence of human-caused global warming:
Huckabee was a guest on the April 25 edition of Glenn Beck. In response to Beck's question about whether "global warming" was "real" or "not," Huckabee replied that as "a Christian" he "think[s] we ought to take good care of the Earth. ... But as far as blaming human beings for enjoying the environment, that's a little bit extreme."--Huckabee interview on the Glenn Beck show, quoted on the Media Matters website.
What happens, then, when the Greenland ice cap begins to melt? Will a President Huckabee refuse to take action? What if astronomers tell the Reverend President that an asteroid--invisible to the naked eye--is going to impact Philadelphia or Detroit? I think in this case, I'd rather have Morgan Freeman as president. The fact is, Mike Huckabee does not have the education necessary to understand how science works or what it says. He holds a degree in religion from Ouachita Baptist University; this qualifies him to be a Baptist preacher, but not to be making decisions on stem-cell research, the space program, global climate change, science education, or public health. We've had one president ignorant of science and the rest of the reality-based world. Haven't we learned our lesson?

33 comments:

Keifus said...

I think that quite a lot of voters are more concerned with whether a person who can read and understand a scientific paper will be qualified to spout reassuring religious (-sounding) proclamations.

Archaeopteryx said...

K--Bill Clinton could do that. Al Gore could, too. I suspect Bill Richardson, John McCain, and maybe Obama and Hillary would be able to do that. Am I wrong, though, to hope that politicians could leave religion to the clergy, and just get about the business of running the country?

Keifus said...

Oh, hell no. I was thinking about going on about my feelings of egalitarianism, but I held myself back. (Basically, for too large a section of the people, faith takes the place where information belongs. Something about the fact/opinion game there.) I'd much rather have a leader who was scientifically literate and brushed off religious issues. I'm not holding my breath.

(As for the acumen of the current crop, I'd be happy with more evidence.)

august said...

I think there's likely to be a pendulum swing. Surely people are getting it into their brains that if the United States punts on science any longer, we're screwed. Particularly now that we aren't letting in immigrants.

Archaeopteryx said...

I don't know August--look at the global warming denial all over the blogosphere. Any scientific news that has unpleasant implications is suddenly up for debate. I don't have much confidence in the ability of the general public to make hard choices.

twiffer said...

no one has much confidence in the ability of the general public to make hard choices. that's why we've got a representative republic as our form of govenance.

KevClark64 said...

There are a lot of points that could be made about your post.

1. I couldn't find anything on the internet saying that George Bush has said he doesn't believe in evolution. What he has said is that intelligent design should be taught. You could say that allowing for the teaching of anything but evolution is a rejection of evolution. But if you said that, you'd have to say that Al Gore is just as bad since during the election campaign in 2000, Gore said that localities should be free to teach alternatives to evolution, including creationism. Apparently, Gore later withdrew this statement, so I don't know what his current position is. (Slate has an article about this.)

2. In the quote that you link to, Mike Huckabee says that he believes there is a creator and a purpose to the universe, but it is up to science to discover the hows and the whys. If he is denying evolution, it sounds like he is only denying a purposeless evolution. Some people, such as Richard Dawkins, think that imputing any purpose to the universe is to deny evolution. When Pope John Paul II came out for evolution, Dawkins criticized the Pope for not jettisoning the whole of religion. On the other hand, S. J. Gould came out in favor of the Pope. So do you think that Dawkins is right that to really believe in evolution, you must not believe in God?

3. What do you think the attitude of a non-scientist should be to a "near-unanimous" scientific consensus? Is it merely the job of the non-scientist to believe whatever he is told by scientists? Is a layperson permitted to weigh the evidence and reach his own conclusion, even though he will be told by scientists that he is unqualified? Have you read "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton? Crichton is obviously not a scientist, but clearly did extensive research about global warming for his book. Checking on the internet, the reaction from scientists to Crichton's book seems largely to be one of derision and mockery. Is that the proper reaction to a non-scientist who disagrees with a scientific consensus?

4. Supposing that no one but scientists working in a particular field are qualified to draw conclusions in that field, how can a layman determine which of opposing viewpoints is correct. You say the interpretation of the data about global warming is near-unanimous among reputable scientists. Assuming that is true, it means that a certain number of reputable scientists do not believe the consensus. If non-scientists are unable to look at the evidence and reach a reasoned conclusion, then how can we know which group is correct?

5. Apart from YEC's, do you have any evidence that people who don't believe in evolution are more likely than believers in evolution to reject science in general? Do you have any evidence that people who do believe in evolution are generally more receptive to science rather than to personal biases, New Age spiritualism, or other forms of personal enlightenment? Among people I have talked to on Slate, it seems to be a general trait of atheists that they reject the principle of non-contradiction. Rejecting that principle rejects the entirety of science, and is surely worse than rejecting one specific conclusion of science.

Congratulations on your blog. I guess I'm the last living person without one.

Regards,
Kevin Clark

Archaeopteryx said...

Hi Kev! Great to see you here--come back often. Let me know when you do get that blog going, so I can link to it.

As for your points--Dubya has said repeatedly that the "jury is still out" on evolution. As far as I know he hasn't said that about gravity, but it is Dubya, so I wouldn't put it past him. I seem to remember Gore waffling a bit on teaching creationism in schools--not too hard for me to believe he might do a bit of pandering.

2. Huckabee raised his hand during the Republican debate when the moderator asked who didn't believe in evolution. The next day, he told reporters that if someone wanted to believe that their family was descended from apes, it was okay with him, but that he didn't. Dawkins is entitled to his opinion, but we both know that science does not--cannot--disprove the existence of a supernatural entity. (You don't really think Dawkins expected John Paul to jettison religion, do you? That'd be news.)

3. I quit reading Crichton's crap years ago. Having an M.D. and a string of best-sellers doesn't make you an expert in climatology. The idea that Crichton's opinions on global warming should carry as much weight as climate scientists is blatant anti-intellectualism. If there was any real evidence that global warming was some sort of plot (please, someone, tell me the motive behind this cabal), someone, somewhere would be publishing it in technical journals, the same as is true for evolution. The correct reaction to Crichton's nonsense is derision and mockery. My wife and I were discussing this today--it seems that one of the problems with attitudes toward science these days is the idea that everybody's viewpoints ought to count the same. This may be true on moral issues, or when deciding who should win American Idol, but where science is concerned, it's not just wrong--it's dangerous.

4. In some fields, it would be impossible for a layman to draw a meaningful conclusion as to which of two or more opposing viewpoints is correct in any given circumstance. But note that global climate change is not such a field. There really is no meaningful disagreement that climate change exists and that people are behind it. There are actual scientists who claim to be skeptics, but most of these people turn out to be on the payroll of Exxon-Mobil or its subsidiaries.

5. Do I have specific evidence? No. But I would say, have a look at Dembski's blog--he's not just an IDer, but a global warming denier. There does at least seem to me to be a connection between the two. And, yeah, I don't think athiests are any more or any less likely to misuse science (or philosophy) than anyone else.

It's always a pleasure to see you around the blogosphere. Come back often.

KevClark64 said...

You may be right about Mike Huckabee generally, but the link that you provided didn't seem to indicate an anti-science bias on his part. And if we suspect that Mr. Gore's thoughts on creationism in 2000 were dictated by what he thought was best for his campaign, then shouldn't we suspect that about every candidate? My general belief about candidates is that they won't say anything they think will hurt them. So if a certain candidate says he doesn't believe in evolution, I'm not sure whether it tells us he really doesn't believe in evolution or just
thinks that saying he doesn't will help him.

As to whether it matters, do you have any idea whether Bill Clinton believes in evolution? I couldn't find anything on the internet that indicated one way or the other. However, I wouldn't be particularly surprised if he didn't. Would you?

Regarding Crichton, my point wasn't that his views should be weighed equally with climatologists. My point is that if a seemingly reasonably intelligent person like Crichton can spend years of his life researching climate change, yet his considered opinion is due only derision and mockery, then what is the point of any layman trying to understand the subject? If the only reasonable opinion of a person about global warming is to agree with the scientific consensus, why do any research at all? Just ask for a show of hands and be done with it.

But if that's true, then what is the relationship of science to the individual or to society? If science is a means by which certain elites hand down opinions that cannot possibly be understood by the masses, even the educated masses, then science has simply taken the place of religion in public life. It is merely a set of truths to which one must assent, or else be labeled a heretic. Scientists in this scenario have simply become the new clerics.

The problem with this, however, is that it makes scientists sort of a protected class who don't really have to justify themselves and their conclusions. I've been reading a book recently by Michael Shermer called "The Borderlands of Science". He goes on a lot about paradigms and beliefs of scientists. The interesting thing is, even though science is sort of a neutral and systematic way of thinking designed to bring about reasonable conclusions based upon evidence, the actual work of science is always done by scientists. This means that the
conclusions reached can never be based solely on scientific criteria. Conclusions are always partially reached on subjective criteria of actual people. Even if the case for global warming is based upon evidence which I can never possibly understand, I can still understand the underlying motivations of many people making the claims. You yourself did this when you imputed working for the oil industry as coloring the conclusions of some climatologists. You could reasonably say, "I can't really understand these sea levels charts from Dr. X, but I know that Dr. X works for Mobil, so his conclusions are suspect." But if we can impute a level of believability for Dr. X, then why not for Dr. Y and Dr. Z as well? Suppose that Dr. Y and Dr. Z are well-known for believing that the world needs zero-population growth. Could we not reasonably deduce that their findings on the climate are as suspect as Dr. X's findings?

But then we have to ask the question of why people believe what they do. It's very possible that Dr. X believes in his findings, yet he is more likely to give weight to evidence that is against global warming than to evidence that supports it. Dr. Y and Dr. Z may do the exact opposite. Thus, while they are all doing honest scientific research, they subjectively shade the research to show what they already believe.

Let me ask you, wouldn't you be a bit disappointed if global warming were abandoned? From what I know of your views, I suspect that you are personally quite happy with the consensus about global warming. If global warming caused by human action is what you want to hear, then how do you know that your belief isn't colored as much by your preference as by the scientific case? After all, since you're not a climatologist, you're no more qualified than Michael Crichton to make such a determination.

As to my blog, I think it will never happen. I don't have the discipline to keep it up. I'm actually trying to do some more profitable writing lately, in the area of fiction. Stephen King says in "On Writing" that you should try to write 2000 words a day. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't count blogging.

Thomas Paine said...

The issue is not the lack of understanding of science -- or more accurately, I should say that is not the ONLY issue -- but with the lack of trust in logic and rationality in general.

When you have leaders making decisions based on nothing much beyond their blind prejudices or the voices in their heads, rather than based on things like evidence and probabilities, we are fucked.

Archaeopteryx said...

TP--I agree with you about the anti-intellectual atmosphere in this country. I don't even think it's anything new.

Kev--As I remember, Clinton was mostly silent on evolution, although he did allow an appeal to the overturn of the "Balanced Treatment" law to die when he was elected governor of Arkansas in 1982. I'd be surprised if he was a creationist, but I'm not surprised he didn't speak out on it--there's a whole chunk of the populace here that thinks that evolutionary theory is the devil's handiwork, and there'd be no point in getting voters riled up if he could keep from it.

Crichton is no different from people like Behe and Dembski who spend their entire careers "studying" evolution, then reject it. I wouldn't say a layman has no chance to understand the intracacies of global climate change or evolutionary theory, but most reasonable people wouldn't think that reading up on a subject is any replacement for actually getting a degree in the subject in which they're interested.

Of course science doesn't work by the "show of hands" technique. As should be clear by the "debate" in the media over both evolution and global warming, scientists are continually forced to defend their conclusions, among both the general public and their peers. In this country, especially, scientists aren't some sort of unquestioned elite (although we might like to be), but instead are thought of as nerdy eggheads who don't care about how their pronouncements effect "real life."

Of course scientists are no different from anyone else, in that they have a point of view. The scientific method and peer review are put in place specifically to make sure that scientific papers aren't just published to grind someone's ax. I think that equating "research" conducted by oil company scientists that "disproves" global warming with that produced by government scientists--who get paid no matter what their results demonstrate--is naive at best. I guess the closest example I can think of is the scientific "debate" in the 60s and 70s over whether cigarettes might or might not be harmful to their users. Turns out that those who found evidence that cigarettes were harmless were all supported by tobacco companies.

I can't imagine any neutral scientist who wouldn't be thrilled to find out that global warming was not a real threat. I know I'd be thrilled to find out such a thing--certainly not disappointed.

Don't discount the idea of a blog helping you become a better writer. If it weren't for this blog, and wiki-fray, and even Slate, the only writing I'd be doing is scribbling "What the hell are you talking about?" in the margins of my students' term papers.

august said...

I agree with Tom Paine that the issue has to do with thinking. The problem is that serious thinkers recognize there are in fact problems with science, rationality, etc. Still, those are sophisticated critiques.

What I think a layman should be able to understand is the method used to reach a certain conclusion. For my part (without reference to my own beleifs) I can certainly see circumstances where, for example, prayer would be a reasonable tool of decision making (if, for example, a small child were dying and you were trying to decided whether to go through with a painful and probably unsuccessful bone-marrow transplant -- science can give you some idea of the odds and the potential consequences, but can't really solve the problem).

What it seems to me is the obligation of science is to provide accurate information to policymakers or to individuals faced with such decisions. And the key is, again, the methods by which such information is provided. Blind acceptance of a consensus of scientists may not be advisable. But rejecting such consensus in order to position yourself in the culture wars, and without showing any real understanding of the issues involved -- that to me is highly suspect. Gore has convinced me that he understands the issues involved in global warming. Does he spin them? Sure.

I've used this line before, but to me, there are certain phenomena in the world that don't really belong in the category of "belief". Does it make sense to ask if you believe in hammers? In rain? In baseball? I mean, certain things simply are, or happen, and not "believing" in them doesn't really change their existance. It may be that there is much more to know about hammers, baseball, or rain, but to simply discount them strikes me as dangerous.

The mechanisms of natural selection and speciation have been observed. To me, not "believing" in them is like not believing in x-rays because you can't see them. If you don't buy it, either you haven't tried to inform yourself, or you are the victim of your own blind prejudice. It's certainly true that scientists bring their own biases to their work. But that does not mean you are justified in ignoring their work. Newton was a nutcase -- he had biases coming out the wazoo. But still, you know, calculus can be handy.

Similarly, you can complain that the words we use are imprecise, that they carry specific connotations for each person, that there are real limits to us understanding each other. All that is true. But that does not mean you are justified in ignoring your neighbors when they scream "Fire!" because words don't really have meaning.

Which brings me to my original point. Sooner or later, Arch, I've gotta believe that enough houses are going to burn down that people will get the idea that this fire thing is serious, whatever its limitations. I do worry, however, that by the time we get it, my house will be gone.

Health and science really ought to be national security concerns. They'd go a lot farther toward keeping us safe than bombing shit.

twiffer said...

with regards to climate change, i've not read crighton's novel. fiction, however, does not generally carry much scientific weight, regardless of how well researched it is. i'd consider his book as authoritative as the davinci code.

couple of points. most of those who claim to refute human responsibility in climate change betray a lack of understanding of the topic. they like to bring up milankovitch cycles, water vapor, solar variation, etc.. what they tend to disregard is that these factors have been considered by climate models.

more to the point though is the strange, stubborn refusal to deny human culpabiltiy. no one is saying that natural factors are not involved. if you want to be nitpicky, you could consider humans to be a natural factor, as ecosystem is a variable in climate. but that's besides the point. the conclusions have been that we are producing too much CO2and that we need to lessen the output lest we alter climatic patterns for the worse. whether one believes that human CO2 emmissions are responsible for climate change or not, why would reducing them be a bad thing? this is what i fail to grasp.

i can understand why some people might feel threatened by evolutionary theory. if your belief system is founded upon the idea that humans were specially created by a divine force and were seperate from other creatures, then yes, being told you are actually a bipedal ape is somewhat threatening. it could be considered diminishing, even, if you consider other species to be inferior.

reducing carbon dioxide emissions (particularly if coupled with reforestation efforts), however, seems rather unthreatening. unless you are worried such requirements will cut into your short-term profits. cutting CO2 emissions is, frankly, one of the very few varibles in climate we have much control over. even if it does no good, it won't do any harm. so why be adamantly against it?

Schadenfreude said...

I heart global warming.

The suggestion that human-caused global warming shares the same level of support as evolution (evidentiary or consent) is just plain wrong.

A lot of the "consensus" is at the level of "Well, it can't hurt to pay attention to the crap we dump into our atmosphere." Signing a petition signifying that is not the same thing as a scientific consensus.

The conclusion that humans are presently causing a warming of the global climate is model-driven, rather than evidence-driven. Now, I'm no climatologist, but I do know quite a lot about complex models. One thing about models is that they tend to be very sensitive to the assumptions of the modeller.

I would be very reluctant to use any such conclusions as the basis for public policy, at any level greater than a general crackdown on pollutants, with consideration that CO2 may be considered a pollutant.

PS. I fucking hate word verification

Archaeopteryx said...

Schad--of course you heart global warming. Fucking Canadian....

Of course global warming science isn't at the same level as evolutionary theory. And, yeah, there are lots of different models out there, with wildly varying "results." Doesn't it worry you that nobody's put together a model in which humans are not contributing to a marked change in the climate? And something is definitely going haywire with the climate. You can pick up just about any biological journal any time and find an article describing the results of climate change on biological systems--specifically on such things as predator-prey relationships, breeding cycles and migration patterns.

All that having been said, there's plenty of room--a need for, actually--a healthy dose of skepticism. But my original point is this--anyone who is an avowed creationist demonstrates enough ignorance of science to be considered unfit to make scientific judgements. Call it a litmus test if you like. (But, see, you at least know what a litmus test is).

By the way, how is it that you get a star here, and I don't, and it's my blog?

August--Would that it were so. I'm afraid that it's going to be easy enough for people who are unaffected to ignore what's going on. See: Darfur, AIDS, malaria, homelessness....

Twif--You're preachin' to the choir, bro.

To all--thanks for the comments. Please come back and make more.

august said...

Schad,

The argument is not that evolution and global warming are equivalent. The argument is that any moron not capable of recognizing evolution as something that is, rather than something one believes in, is not capable of making decisions about science, including global warming (I'd throw health policy in the same category).

Schadenfreude said...

I'm a bit more worried about more immediate implications, like denying young girls the HPV vaccine, and preventing something that's going to cause a significant, predictable number of them to die a painful and unnecessary death.

I'm pretty sure I could whip up a climate model that would predict an impending ice age without too much trouble. It would look good and take up an ungodly amount of supercomputer time, too (if you like that sort of thing). Funky graphics cost extra.

The climate is changing, has always changed, and always will change. Personally, I have a very serious doubt that humans are causing any measurable change in global climate.


PS. Sorry, I'm not going to wrestle with word verification any more. You know where to find me.

Proconsul said...

In 2000 and 2004, the Evangelical Christians were perhaps the most outspoken and dominant component of the Republican Party. In President Bush, they had finally found a leader who was one of their own, and in his policies, they had finally found a platform that they could have uttered themselves. They were granted victory in 2000, 2002, and 2004. . . they filled Congress with conservative Republicans who shared their general mindset. . .and disaster after disaster has flowed from these men, and those policies, ever since.

It's not exactly being shouted from the rooftops, but I think the evangelicals' conspicuous silence in this electoral cycle is a reflection of the acknowledgement, even by them, that God might not be the best policy advisor, and that the power of faith alone to move mountains, while real enough, can sometimes move those mountains right down on top of your head.

Proconsul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
twiffer said...

uh, schad:

I would be very reluctant to use any such conclusions as the basis for public policy, at any level greater than a general crackdown on pollutants, with consideration that CO2 may be considered a pollutant.

isn't that the point? forgive me, but i was under the impression that all the discussion of climate change was to reduce CO2 emissions.

anyway, climate is ridiculously complex and models are all we have to predict changes. yes, they aren't perfect and, by the way, some do predict a return to glaciation as a result of warming. just depends on how important you think thermohaline convection is, in regards to moderating temperatures in the northern latitudes.

i agree that it changes, always has changed and always will. i'm just of the mind that if we are congnizant of our impact (again, all living creatures, particularly plants, affect climate) and are reasonably sure that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere is not a benefical action for human life, why not take preventative action? even if it doesn't help, it won't hurt. i find the reasons against doing so as compelling as stating that one shouldn't wear a seat belt, since it won't save your life if you happen to drive off a 500 ft. cliff.

Archaeopteryx said...

Proconsul, I'm afraid that's wishful thinking on your part. Most of the evangelicals that I know are laying out of the process a bit this year because none of the candidates is particularly to their liking.

Twif--you said it better than me.

Schad--I'll try to disable the word verification and see if I get a bunch of spam. I don't particularly care for it either--but everybody else is doing it....

sydbristow said...

howdy,

Just inserting myself here, but I had a strong objection to this IPCC report synopsis: "A United Nations report issued today by the world's top climate scientists said global warning was "very likely" man-made and would bring higher temperatures and a steady rise in sea levels for centuries to come regardless of how much the world slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions." (and not meaning to repeat my argument with Rrhain back on Slate a couple of months ago).

I just think that that is really bad wordsmithing or an outright falsehood. Global warming is man-made? That trivializes the entire discussion .. because the whole discussion is how much are we contributing? Nobody believes it's zero, nobody believes it's 100%.

Thought experiment. Let's say we have the tools to figure out exactly how much man is contributing to global warming*. What's our percentage? Really. What is your number. Two, 5, 10, 20, 50 .. ?

Continuing, how much can we reasonably do? Let's say we do Kyoto, and a bit more (because we all chip in so earnestly). Whatever number you have above, by what percentage will you now reduce it?

So we have two numbers. How much consensus do you think we have for those numbers? Anybody got the balls to put down their numbers?

We're swinging in the dark here. And we're dealing with a hugely complex a) set of equations, and b) set of interactions with other life and death systems. Kyoto (or similar) has an economic impact (of course). How do we factor in unemployment, loss of wealth (including impact on social services, etc), loss of jobs (to the third and developing world), etc.

In the face of this complexity and these unknowns to pretend there's a right answer here, other than "we can all do a bit better", seems off base to me.



* not a simple question, I know, like do we get cows? etc. But you know what I mean.

sydbristow said...

addendum,

meant to add link for the quote, though it's all over the place of course ..

another interesting bit from the same article/report:

And the report said no matter how much civilization slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and sea level rise will continue on for centuries.

"This is just not something you can stop. We're just going to have to live with it," co-author Kevin Trenberth, director of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said in an interview. "We're creating a different planet. If you were to come up back in 100 years time, we'll have a different climate."

Scientists worry that world leaders will take that message in the wrong way and throw up their hands, Trenberth said. That would be wrong, he said. Instead, the scientists urged leaders to reduce emissions and also adapt to a warmer world with wilder weather.


Again, my point here would be to understand that, in most cases, compliance (or doing something "good") has a cost. This just reinforces that we do at least have to think about costs versus benefits. It's not slam dunk stuff.

Archaeopteryx said...

Sure, Syd, it has a cost, but that doesn't mean we can do nothing about it. The problem is that doing nothing also has a cost, and that cost will most likely be paid (at least at first) by those who can least afford it.

sydbristow said...

kind of a non-answer (but okay, of course, what's the likelihood of hitting new ground here?) .. e.g., for one, does not doing anything have some benefits too?

Archaeopteryx said...

Does ignoring global warming have some benefits? Sure, if you happen to sell gasoline or coal.

I like August's metaphor of the burning house. When you smell smoke and the neighbors are screaming, are there benefits to ignoring the warnings? Sure--you'll get about ten more minutes of sleep, and we could always use more sleep...

sydbristow said...

that would be global cooling, no? i guess, seeing chango's question on my BoTF thread, there's the need to specify my usage of "global warming" as encompassing human plus natural forces. totally off original topic now, but you see no benefits other than to the coal and oil industries? my guess is that most Russians and Canadians, for example, have no problem at all with some "managable" global warming. what a difference a few degrees of latitude make, no?

Archaeopteryx said...

Syd, shortsighted Canadians and Siberians might think global warming would be a good deal, but they're going to be wrong. As people are so fond of pointing out, it's pretty difficult to predict exactly what's going to happen at any given place. Depending upon what happens with rain and ocean currents, some models predict that the interiors of continents could become colder due to global warming. So, don't start building new housing additions in northern Saskatchewan just yet.

Justoffal said...

Hmmmm, there is no doubt in my mind that politics is far too accessible to the untrained and the uneducated. The only problem with those requirements is the inevitable creation of an elite class such as we see in England, not too good.

Global warming? What's the difference man? If all emissions stopped today, all tail-pipes, smoke stacks, fertilzer factories, polluted lakes and streams...if all of them stopped today you still could not turn the warming trend around fast enough to avoid certain geological disaster within the next 20 years. Get ready for it because we are long past the point where putting the brakes on would make a damn bit of difference.

Archaeopteryx said...

Yeah, Justoffal--might as well get drunk and say "screw it."

Or not.

Justoffal said...

Okay...maybe that did sound a little crass..Frankly I like the idea of green power not because of the Co2 issues, foggy though they may be, but because green power technologies can be made far more accessible to the common man thereby ensuring a more adequate distribution which is, in the final analysis, the best method of cost control imaginable.

sydbristow said...

Western Europe: a) is artificially warm now, and b) will be punished severely, that's pretty much a given.

Otherwise, I'll spare you the need for another version of a "global warming, bad" response.

Archaeopteryx said...

That's too bad, Syd, 'cause I got so many of 'em lined up.

I'm pleased by how long this thread ran. My next post about minutiae of Arkansas politics apparently wasn't nearly so exciting.