Sunday, March 29, 2009

Global Warming vs. An Old Man

There's an excellent article/biography of Dyson Freeman, a scientist of whom I knew very little up till now. A super-genius and all that good stuff, and, importantly, a global warming skeptic.

I won't go into detail about what he has to say, I'll only go so far as to say that his points are very well made. I still disagree with him, but I actually have an out because the bulk of my views don't come into conflict with his, namely:

  • I don't care about the Chinese. They can do whatever they want. I want change in my country and my country alone. Other countries are free to do anything at all.

  • Whether we're causing global warming or not is irrelevant. We are a rich nation and can afford environmental advances that are good for reasons beyond their being green. As I've said before, the goal is not to be green, but to be efficient.

  • Our course of action is dictated apart from the reality of global warming. Whether it's true or not is irrelevant and we must invest heavily into high-efficiency, green technology.
I also fully disagree with a few of his points.

  • I disagree that there is no such thing as an ideal ecological system. The concept of ideal requires that certain parameters are set. I think that we can, in fact, set those parameters. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, whatever we do doesn't matter since the planet will just change and evolve. Yes, evolution is happening as we speak. Yes, life goes on. Too bad we live and exist on small scales and I would very much like to keep the world as is, if at all possible. I think it's very nice, now.

  • Solar energy will be a viable form of energy in much shorter order than 50 years, and shifting focus away from that to coal is, I think, a terrible error.

Also, he considers himself a skeptic and that's cool. I love skeptics. But some of the best skeptics on Earth all support that theory that human action is having a significant impact on global warming. These are not easily-convinced people. James Randi, Michael Shermer, and the whole of the crew who produce Skeptic Magazine, all of them support the theory. I find this sort of weight hard to argue.

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