Answering the ‘Science’ Question

September 8, 2011

As expected, one of the questions in last night’s GOP debate concerned Rick Perry’s views on certain scientific matters, specifically global warming:

HARRIS: Governor Perry — Governor Perry, Governor Huntsman were not specific about names, but the two of you do have a difference of opinion about climate change. Just recently inNew Hampshire, you said that weekly and even daily scientists are coming forward to question the idea that human activity is behind climate change. Which scientists have you found most credible on this subject?

It was a totally expected question, and one that could have been easily answered. Unfortunately Rick Perry rather muffed it (more so than is evident in the transcript):

PERRY: Well, I do agree that there is — the science is — is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at — at — at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just — is nonsense. I mean, it — I mean — and I tell somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.

 But the fact is, to put America’s economic future in jeopardy, asking us to cut back in areas that would have monstrous economic impact on this country is not good economics and I will suggest to you is not necessarily good science. Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.

Harris followed up, giving Perry a second chance:

HARRIS: Just to follow up quickly. Tell us how you’ve done that.

Are there specific — specific scientists or specific theories that you’ve found especially compelling, as you…

Again Perry failed to answer the question, or put the issue to rest:

PERRY: Let me tell you what I find compelling, is what we’ve done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade. Nitrous oxide levels, down by 57 percent. Ozone levels down by 27 percent.

That’s the way you need to do it, not by some scientist somewhere saying, “Here is what we think is happening out there.” The fact of the matter is, the science is not settled on whether or not the climate change is being impacted by man to the point where we’re going to put America’s economics in jeopardy.

Again, Perry really failed to address the issue decisively. The sad thing is that this issue really isn’t that hard to answer; in fact credible scientists have already done the work for him. This is how Perry should have answered:

“A scientist I find credible on the issue is Richard Muller, Professor of Physics at Berkeley and author of the book Physics for Future Presidents. He has been critical of some of the data and methodology used to support theories of climate change in favor anthropogenic warming. I further agree with his view that the biggest threat to the environment comes not from activity in the US and Europe, but from manufacturing activities in China and India, countries not covered by the Kyoto treaty.

 I also find interesting recent findings by European scientists at CERN, the group which works with the Hadron collider, that have determined some of the warming we are seeing is the product of  cosmic radiation.

So rather than strap the American economy to a science which is still being debated by scientists and which has become a political hammer used by self-interested liberals who have no solutions for our economic problems, I prefer to approach the problem from a position of economic strength, which gives us greater leverage to face the challenges global warming could present in the future.”

I don’t expect to hear such an answer from any of the candidates (though they are free to borrow mine 🙂 ) because it isn’t sound-bite friendly and would require said candidate to put some actual thought into an answer – but this is the answer they should give if they want to put the issue to bed.


Observations

August 23, 2011

If the secular left were as concerned about a politician’s basic math skills as they are his or her views on evolution and global warming, our government might not currently be facing this massive budget busting debt.


Friday Fun-ness

August 19, 2011

When I was a child, NASA was a source of national pride. It motivated people to dream about being engineers who built rockets, or pilots to fly them. Songs and movies were created about the imagined life of astronauts, who were generally considered to be national heroes. So great were its achievements that “If we can send a man to the moon…” became a common figure of speech.

Sadly, it appears that NASA has now jumped the shark.

In a recent report, scientists from NASA’s Planetary Science Division wrote a report titled, Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? A scenario analysis. The report hypothesizes how an alien civilization might respond to our emission of greenhouse gasses:

“A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilization may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilizational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,”

*Sigh* Very sad to see that this once grand engine of innovation and exploration has become a mere lapdog to politically correct ‘science’ of the left. Instead of real results, we get imaginary aliens threatening us because we aren’t extreme environmentalists. This does a lot to explain why NASA no longer is capable of flying men into space. In a way it is a metaphor what the left has done to our entire economy – turned it from an incredible agency for creating wealth and innovation to an over-regulated, self-absorbed entity afraid of the future.

Of course, if you are lefty commentator Paul Krugman, you may consider all this alien invasion talk to be a government conspiracy to invigorate the economy:


Observations

May 21, 2011

Personally I have always been skeptical that the world would end soon in a series of cataclysmic events brought about as a judgement for the evil that men do.

And that was even after they gave Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize.


Global Warming Excesses

March 26, 2011

While I am thinking about the corruption of science by scienticism, I thought this video was interesting. It’s from a lecture by Berkley physics professor Richard A. Muller about the ‘data’ that was claimed to support global warming:

It is notable that Muller is not a global warming skeptic, though he is skeptical of the hysteria surrounding it.

He wrote an excellent book on this and other issues called Physics for Futre Presidents


Green with Hypocrisy

April 29, 2010

It seems Al Gore, sage of all things green, global, and warm, has decided to put aside another piece of property for the purposes of saving the planet.

Well maybe not.

Gore has actually bought a $9 million dollar villa in Montecito, CA. The charming little fixer-upper has a mere five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a fountain, spa, swimming pool, and six fireplaces. In other words, a property with a carbon footprint the size of Guam. This in addition to his 10,000 sq. ft. shack in Tennessee.

Now I don’t fault the man for owning fancy digs, and if someone has the money and they want to keep a contingent of gardeners and grounds keepers and contractors busy maintaining mansions, more power to them. Heaven knows the jobs are needed in Obama’s economy. And if Al is making this much off his global warming shtick, he certainly wouldn’t be the first to make money on investments in a scam. But can we stop pretending he is a serious individual representing real science? I mean quite obviously he doesn’t even believe this whole global warming thing himself, so can the rest of us just admit it was one of those pseudo-science created mass panic attacks our culture has frequently endured like global cooling, nuclear winters, and the Y2K bug?

Are we over it yet?