Monday, October 15, 2007

Overrated But Moderate

JimV thinks I'm overrated but moderate. Well, given some of the things I've been called, I'll take overrated as a midway compliment. However, I'm right proud of being called a moderate. I feel like half the time I'm trying to explain to one side I'm not a liberal egg head and to the other side I'm not a heartless free market absolutist.

But more importantly, Jim unravels the mystery behind the now infamous British case on Al Gore's little climate change movie. It seems the plaintiff is something called the New Party. They are the very definition of fringe and also, unlike me, are proudly free market absolutist. So take that little bit of context into your next climate change knife fight.

As far as my response to the meme floating around, let me provide a little of my own context. Hey, I may be overrated but at least I let my readers reply directly.

When I saw the British Court meme repeated at Jason's place, I knew it for what it was. I've seen it a million times before. Kent Hovind is a creationist and he is also, even in creationist's circles, a joke. His method is to throw as many talking points at a person in as short a time as possible creating a situation where it is impossible to respond. His crap against the wall lists are filled with items which are patently false or given so little context they might as well be false. Sound familiar?

This exact tactic is what I mean by the Kent Hovind effect.

The problem with Gore's little film and what can make it dangerous is what I call slide show science. As I've said before, in these crusades you must be pure as the driven snow. The lunatics, aka the Hovinds, will pick the slightest nit and attempt to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Gore puts on a great show and the science is there, but even the slightest misstep, like the Katrina argument, gives trolls like these New Party people a potential AHA! moment and allows them to use this "evidence" to influence those not so well versed in the arguments.

Bottom line, I like Gore's film and I recognize its great service in broadening awareness of climate change. However, it ain't science. The science in it is pretty good but it still ain't science. Watch An Inconvenient Truth at home with your family and follow it up with a good discussion. In the classroom, we would be better served by leaving out the slick presentations and sticking with the real meat and potatoes of climate study.

Like maybe the work of the people with whom Gore shared the prize. You know, the actual scientists at the IPCC. Strangely, they are hardly ever mentioned in these little hit pieces.

UPDATE: Jason has his own response to Mr. V's little rant.


Amber Rhea said...

JimV also thinks I'm some kind of exhibitionist for having password-protected posts. But, he doesn't have comments on any of his posts, so take any and all assessments w/ the appropriate serving of salt.

For the record, I *am* some kind of exhibitionist. The awesome kind.

griftdrift said...

He's that dude? I thought the name sounded familiar.

Sara said...

I think the subtitle of this blog needs to be "overrated but moderate."

At least you weren't accused of being worse than Ann Coulter. I still think I win the battle of stupidest blogger insult.

Aerodad said...

I think I made fun of JimV before when he wound up on Freshloaf, b/c he was complaining about openness or something on a blog that has no commenting.

Le douche.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Gore gets a cold shoulder
Steve Lytte
October 14, 2007

ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee honored Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."

At his first appearance since the award was announced in Oslo, Mr Gore said: "We have to quickly find a way to change the world's consciousness about exactly what we're facing."

Mr Gore shared the Nobel prize with the United Nations climate panel for their work in helping to galvanize international action against global warming.

But Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes are widely publicized, said a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures - related to the amount of salt in ocean water - was responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place.

However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling would begin soon and last for several years.

"We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was," Dr Gray said.

During his speech to a crowd of about 300 that included meteorology students and a host of professional meteorologists, Dr Gray also said those who had linked global warming to the increased number of hurricanes in recent years were in error.

He cited statistics showing there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared to 83 from 1957 to 2006 when the earth warmed.

"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures," Dr Gray said.

He said his beliefs had made him an outsider in popular science.

"It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."

This story was found at:

griftdrift said...

It's pretty funny that a guy whose claim to fame is predicting something everyone pretty much agrees is unpredictable has the audacity to categorically deny anything at all.

Gore slips and ties the frequency of hurricanes to warming (something which he later corrected) and he is vilified.

Gray ties the absence of hurricane activity as evidence there is no warming and he is cited as a valid source.

Ray said...

@nonpartisan - Do people get paid to post propaganda in blog comments now? If so, is the pay good? Is it one of those "Earn $1000+/wk at home" jobs you see posted on highway exit ramps?

@griftdrift - You've hit the big time! The only person who gets paid to post comments on my blog is my father.