Man Made

An excerpt from the Gibson-Palin interview:
PALIN: The debate on that even, really has evolved into, OK, here's where we are now: scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it. And John McCain and I are gonna be working on what we do about it.

GIBSON: Yes, but isn't it critical as to whether or not it's man-made, because what you do about it depends on whether its man-made?

This is one of the biggest problems I have with the global warming movement. The assertion that we must recognize it is man-made has nothing to do with whether we should do anything about it, or how we should handle it. Man made or not, if it has devastating costs, we should try to limit it, by trying to (1) cool the atmosphere, or (2) anticipate and mitigate the damages.

Despite this, the movement is focused on blame as its primary issue. It's a quasi-religious concept: nature, on its own, can cause us great harm and devastation, and we have to live with it, because it's natural, and therefore intrinsically good; but if we alter nature, and then it causes us harm and devastation, we must do something about it because of our role in causing it. I'm sorry, but that's religion, not science.

This makes no sense -- scientifically, cooling our atmosphere could involve a lot of things (hell, the fact that the sun's inactivity might be granting us a short, shallow ice age soon may help), but none of them should depend on knowing whether something is man-made. We know we've omitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than was previously there, if only because of our population growth, meat industry, and industrial output. That is evident. However, carbon dioxide is only one part in a larger global warming picture, which also involves solar output, water vapor, and other factors. We can't know if global warming wouldn't be happening in our absence -- there is no control group. All we can do is predict what we can, and if global warming is coming, and if it will surely cause great pestilence and suffering, then we should do something about it.

The truth is, our scientific establishment should be constantly trying to fight against nature -- nature is overwhelmingly fickle -- it does not love us! We can get some things from it, and it takes some things from us. It is, as Vonnegut would say, utterly indifferent. We should try to stop tornadoes and earthquakes and volcanoes and global warming and wildfires and tsunamis -- we shouldn't accept anything just because it is natural.

Unfortunately, this religious underpinning is the only thing that keeps me from signing on completely to the Global Warming movement. They tout science and rationality, but they act like evangelists! (Repent, repent, the day of wrath is coming!) In this way, they're like intelligent design advocates: trying to manipulate science's shortcomings to prove their beliefs, including their vision about how man should live.