War on Science

Climate change deniers

   The war on evidence-based policy-making being waged by some in the House of Representatives continued this week, with three members in the running to become chairman of the important Committee on Space, Science, and Technology. Each is deeply skeptical of the widely held belief that human activities are a cause of global warming. Barring an unexpected reversal, either Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, or Lamar Smith of Texas will head the committee, which, among other things, shares control of federal spending on almost all nondefense research and development.
    Even if you happen to think that climate change is a hoax, the nomination of three people whose scientific credentials are shaky at best to head this committee should be alarming. The committee has influence over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among many others.
    The problem is that Mr. Rohrabacher and the others apparently find it easy to side with the relative handful of climate change deniers, rather than accept the mountain of evidence that scientists the world over say points to humankind’s role in warming the planet. If their pick-and-choose approach to scientific research extends to areas of inquiry other than climate, any of the three would seem to be a poor choice to help run the government’s civilian research and development efforts. They are not alone among Congressional Republicans with a dim view of science; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, for example, recently sidestepped a question about the Earth’s age — pegged at 4.5 billion years based on rigorous, verifiable data — and mused that it was one of the “great mysteries.”
    Critics have said the United States is falling behind other countries in preparing young people for careers in math and science and, as a result, it may soon see its global dominance fade. Putting forward candidates like these to head this vital committee does not bode well for the country’s future — or the world’s.


Comments

Well, here we go again, Global Warming. As in happens,we are in a 100,000 +- year cycle of ice ages. The current warm period is typical of the last 4 cycles, a short warm period. This is based on extensive geological research. Some is visible to the naked eye, striations caused by glaciers in Central Park's exposed bedrock, and, say, Long Lsland. Human activily has had exactly zero to do with in in the last several millions of years, but now there is a chance that we actually may be doing so. Ask yourselves what part of the current warmpth is due to us? What part is not? It is easy to be glib, warmer than ever? No, there were warmer times within this current series of glacial periods. What, exactly, can we do in the event that we can determine what portion of warming is due to human activity, to level it ought to be , say, less or the same as the last cycle? Our current cycly is very slightly warmer than the last and cooler than the one before that. It is likely no one has any idea. Further, the Chineese , Russians and many others have no intention whatever of doing anything whatever concerning global tempature. Evidence is, comparing solar activity, Earth's orbit, inclanitio to the sun, Earth's wobble, differences,deep space's high energy particals entering Earth's magnetic fiels and atmosphere, current tempature and climate are not now atypical. Suppose that there is a meaurable amount of change that is accurately determined to be because of human activity. What should be done? "Something" is not an answer. America and Europe are working very hard to slow the consumption of "fossil" fuels. Almost no one else is. China has very clear plans to increase its' consumption by at least double over the next decade. We will influence them to stay in the rice paddies? And so on. As the newest Bob Dylan song notes in an odd followup to "The Times, They Are A' Changing" , "Things Have Changed". Indeed they have, and the harst reality is, no one wants to walk backwards. Even if the theory proves to be fact, the best possible "bet" is to develope technology that reduces the impact. And technology is indeed moving ahead in the energy area and getting amazing results. Many of which are out there on the web. So, surf the web about energy and be amazed. It will soothe some concerns, I'm sure.