Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two Environmentalists Knock Heads

 Rex Weyler, a director of the original Greenpeace Foundation and author of a history of the organisation challenges Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace "dropout." Below is a portion of debate between the two men which summarises many of the key disputes over climate change policies.

Rex Weyler: You portray yourself as “sensible” and disparage all non-corporate environmentalists, but you don’t act scientific. You employ rhetorical devices such as: “There is no alarm about climate change,” since “the climate is always changing.” I’m sure this plays well at corporate speaking gigs, but you should google the fallacy of “misplaced concreteness.” I assume you are aware that you erroneously presume a word means the same thing in different contexts.

Patrick Moore: I hardly think Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue, is a corporate environmentalist, more of a loveable hippie with a big brain. Do you think Bjorn Lomborg is “corporate”. I don’t agree with either Brand or Lomborg on everything but at least they cause me to think rather than people who repeat a memorized party-line. I also admire James Lovelock even though I find him enigmatic. All three of these environmentalists that I admire are non-corporate. Which “corporate environmentalists” am I allegedly admiring?

I believe I am sensible and have been all my life, as in common sense. But I suppose that is a matter of opinion.

As to acting “scientific” the highest duty of a scientist is to retain a healthy scepticism about all hypotheses, especially regarding subjects that have many variables like climate. I think you are aware that I hold an Honours BSc in Biology and Forest Biology, a PhD in Ecology, an Honorary Doctorate of Science and have received the the US National Award for Nuclear Science and History from the Einstein Society, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. Would this not make me at least as credible as any member of the IPCC?

If you are referring to the word “climate” you must elaborate as I fail to understand what you mean here. First, you have added in the word “since,” which makes my statement a syllogism. When you do write your critique of my new book, I do hope you will not manipulate my words in that way.

Second, I did not say “there is no alarm about climate change,” but that “there is no REASON FOR alarm about climate change.” The fact that there is such alarm I blame in part on Greenpeace itself.

And finally, as to the “misplaced concreteness”, I refer to climate as a scientific subject, measurable and real. Following Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of this fallacy, I see no misplaced concreteness there.

My belief that there is no reason for alarm has no bearing on the fact that the climate is always changing. I can imagine the public outcry when you accuse me of “misplaced concreteness”, Lordy Lordy.

You and your allies love to use the words “corporate” and “industry” as if they are epithets, swear words, put-downs, etc. with the implication that something sinister is going on. My public appearances are in public, usually with media present.

Read it all here.
Alarmists and those profiting from the global warming “crisis” stress the melting of the Artic glacial ice but conveniently fail to point out that the snow caps on South America highest mountains and the glacial mass in Antarctic are growing. Here is the latest science report:
An International Polar Year aerogeophysical investigation of the high interior of East Antarctica reveals widespread freeze-on that drives significant mass redistribution at the bottom of the ice sheet. While surface accumulation of snow remains the primary mechanism for ice sheet growth, beneath Dome A 24% of the base by area is frozen-on ice. In some places, up to half the ice thickness has been added from below. These ice packages result from conductive cooling of water ponded near the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountain ridges and supercooling of water forced up steep valley walls. Persistent freeze-on thickens the ice column, alters basal ice rheology and fabric and upwarps the overlying ice sheet, including the oldest atmospheric climate archive, and drives flow behavior not captured in present models. (Source: Science Magazine)

The rise and fall of ice ages is caused by changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun due to the influence of the other planets. These changes are slight and can be triggered by events like the earthquake and tsunami recently experienced in Japan.

The earliest ice ages came about every 41,000. Later ones came every 100,000 years. Scientists do not know what caused the change from 40,000 to 100,000 years, but they have noticed that the 100,000 year cycle aligns with periods of Earth’s more-elliptical orbits. Earth's orbit around the sun changes shape every 100,000 years, becoming either more round or more elliptical. The shape of the orbit is known as its "eccentricity." The 41,000-year cycle of the tilt of Earth’s axis is related. The original research correlating climate, glaciation and orbit and was done by University of California (Santa Barbara) geologist Lorraine Lisiecki.

Lisiecki believes that climate change involves complicated interactions between different parts of the climate system and three orbital systems: 1) eccentricity of Earth’s orbit; 2) tilt of Earth’s axis; and 3) precession or change in the orientation of the rotation axis.

Related reading: Antarctic Ozone Hole SmallerClimate Cycles and Noah's Flood; Lower Solar Irradiance, Higher Atmospheric Temps?; Antarctic Once Had Baobab Trees; Global Temps Dropping

No comments: