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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Science Wins Out

Though there are still the die-hard true-believers out there ...

It must be tough to see your entire belief system come crashing down.

Oh, yeah, we're talking about the globe that isn't, alas, warming:
The Great Global Warming Fizzle
By Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

This week, the conclave of global warming's cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years. The idea is to come up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year, and to require rich countries to pony up $100 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the alleged effects of climate change. This is said to be essential because in 2017 global warming becomes "catastrophic and irreversible," according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse.

The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won't be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won't make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they've spent it all on Greece.

All this has been enough to put the Durban political agenda on hold for the time being. But religions don't die, and often thrive, when put to the political sidelines. A religion, when not physically extinguished, only dies when it loses faith in itself.

That's where the Climategate emails come in. First released on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit two years ago and recently updated by a fresh batch, the "hide the decline" emails were an endless source of fun and lurid fascination for those of us who had never been convinced by the global-warming thesis in the first place.

But the real reason they mattered is that they introduced a note of caution into an enterprise whose motivating appeal resided in its increasingly frantic forecasts of catastrophe. Papers were withdrawn; source material re-examined. The Himalayan glaciers, it turned out, weren't going to melt in 30 years. Nobody can say for sure how high the seas are likely to rise—if much at all. Greenland isn't turning green. Florida isn't going anywhere. [link]
You might wonder how so many learned scientists could have been lured into the pagan world of global warmism.  It's actually quite simple.  They all drew their conclusions regarding trends in climate from facts and data provided by a small handful of fact and data gatherers around the globe.  See University of East Anglia.  As it turns out, those providers of data involved a small handful of liars and knaves.  See Climategate.  So it's perfectly understandable that the scientists of the world - upon being presented with a certain set of "facts"  - latch onto the desired constructs of those presenting the "facts."

What's not understandable is why they still cling to their constructs now that the facts are pouring in and substantial evidence exists that (a) the planet is not warming, and (b) humans weren't causing any appreciable warming of the planet when it was.

Yet cling they do.

And will.

To the bitter end.

Scientists.  Tsk.  Tsk.