Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday interweb wandering thoughts

I always make time on a Sunday to pop over to the Tellytubbygraph's James Delingpole Blog. Not so much for the quality of the 'debate' as the hilarity of the troll control tactics employed by the various posters. I generally lurk without commenting, and don't generally get drawn into those tedious online bouts of protracted name calling which some find so engrossing. Occasionally, if I have something to say I'll make a post and then move on. If that is construed as 'drive by posting' then so be it. I have a life.

The one thing I will take issue with is the claims that those who don't unthinkingly ascribe to the view that mankind is responsible for the changes in the weather / climate are 'anti-science'. Now this assertion is complete nonsense and a very poor rhetorical argument. It's lazy soundbite driven thinking which bypasses all centres of significant neural activity. It's also one of those 'drawing a line in the sand' gestures of pointless witlessness which can only devalue an argument. Just because you disagree on one point doesn't necessarily mean you're a gun totin' - git orf mah land - anti abortion - redneck - Palin loving - creationist - God fearing Republican wingnut. Neither does the converse hold true, that just because you agree with a given proposition doesn't automatically make you a tofu eating - metrosexual - jazz lovin' - Darwinist - Obama worshipping - Atheistic Democrat Progressive. That's just ludicrous. It's also stereotyping, which is a crime against the intellect and one of the classic indicators of Persistent Waking Vegetative state. People of that mindset don't think, they don't examine before rejecting, they just have prejudices.

Take my own world view; I do not believe in man made climate change / Warble Gloaming / Buzzword of the moment. My own training in Engineering sciences (Ones proven in fact not theory) tells me the CO2 meme has serious holes in it, and having looked at the basics and tried to find a connection simply cannot accept the "We can't think of what else it can be" justification. That isn't science, that's reductio ad absurdum not sufficiently reductio'd. To compare; I am of the opinion that Darwin and Wallace were onto something regarding evolution back in the mid 1800's, although the tenets of their work have been horribly abused by some people. Yet there are things we don't understand about how evolution works. By the same token, Einstein did not have the last word on physics, and we don't know everything about gravity and space / time, not by a long chalk. Some have even contended that the age of scientific discovery is 'past' but there you would also find me in disagreement; there is always something new and fascinating. In short; the science is never 'settled'. New stuff comes along all the time. If it didn't, there would be no new toys in the store to keep the money going round. No improvements, just an endless round of drudgery reinforcing the status quo. A quasi-medieval mindset where heretics are burned in case all those uppity peasants get the idea that Mother Church doesn't really know much at all.

The only people who are truly 'anti-science' are those who, when confronted with dissension do not at least riffle through the pages of a theses and go; "Yup, that's fine... oh, hang on a moment, oops. My bad." Science is about enquiry, of re-examination and winnowing grains of truth from the chaff. It is not about 'consensus'. That is purely a political idea, which has nothing to do with the classical scientific method. The only thing you can say for certain about a 'scientific consensus' is that it is riding for a fall. Sooner or later some clever so-and-so will come along and the rule book will need another rewrite.

In terms of climate McKittrick and McIntyre have repeatedly demonstrated that one of the 'proofs' of man made climate change is based on nothing more than flawed models and statistics. Even the Bilderberg group, that invited clique of the not so great and good, once so enamoured of the CAGW postulate, are reputedly discussing the possibility of 'Global cooling'.

People are waking up. You've been had, and by proxy, so have I, and I'm not very pleased about it. All the tax money that has been thrown at a non-problem really scrolls my knurd. All the resources flushed down the fiscal toilet after phantasms when the real answers to energy, food, and water poverty have available solutions.

Think GM food is 'bad'? Well, everything in this life comes with a price tag; and ripping up field trials of GM crops with better yields and disease resistance just because some big corporate owns the technology is half witted. In an age when the cure for hunger is within our grasp, that's like putting your children at risk by not getting them properly vaccinated on the basis of one over-hyped study. Sheesh.

Don't want third world countries to make nuclear weapons? Don't sell them Uranium / Plutonium based reactor technology (How about Thorium? Can't make weapons from that). Although the news that Iran has got the Stuxnet virus in it's Nuclear programmes computer systems is not unamusing. That Ahvegottadinnerjacket character in Iran who so loves to parade things like 'Ambassadors of Death' and other assorted diplomatic willy waving must be looking for someone to blame. He'll probably claim it was the Israelis anyway.

Think there are too many people? Well you're a person aren't you? Do the decent thing and make room for someone who really wants a life. Seriously, you'll be doing the world a favour. As for those proposing others be sacrificed on the altar of future humanity. No, please. You first. Please, I insist. After you. No, no, I'll be along sometime after my 90th birthday, maybe. If I remember.

Regardless of the aforementioned; for a so-called 'denier' I'm very pro human progress. Despite a certain air of misanthropy in my posting, I have great faith in humanity. We have a habit of muddling through as a species, and when properly motivated can work wonders and shit miracles with or without divine intervention. We didn't become the worlds most successful tribal predator species by accident you know. What's that you say? You're not a tribal predator? You obviously haven't looked very carefully at your fellow humans.

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