ETHICAL ISSUES – GLOBAL WARMING and the IBWO

THE ETHICS of GLOBAL WARMING

Global warming is a fact, so is global cooling. But global warming caused by man-made carbon dioxide is not a fact (because it’s not proven and it’s not true).  But climate change, as a perfectly natural phenomenon, is a fact.  Currently we are in an interglacial phase which means a general warming trend.  (Glaciers require cold climate, and they are receding; therefore, earth ought to be warming…)  The ‘global warming’ scare is ill-intentioned and immoral.  Just because a politically-motivated group says that their science is right and someone else’s is wrong doesn’t mean that’s the way it is, because it isn’t.  Examine the source (and follow the money)…

For another pertinent example of questionable academic certainty, consider the saga of the ivory-billed woodpecker (IBWO) of the Arkansas swamps.  The bird had not been seen since 1940 and was thought to be extinct, when in 2004 an ivory-bill was sighted(?).  Several subsequent sightings were soon reported.  The project was taken up by The Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, experts all. Not one photograph was produced save the blurry original. They positively identified the IBWO, and an article written by 17 acclaimed experts confirming seven sightings was published in Science Magazine.  The project was highlighted in the media, and environmental groups took up the cause.  The US Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service committed to it, setting aside $10.2M of federal money for the project.  (Additionally, Fish and Wildlife has $27M to produce a recovery plan for the bird.)  The area was researched for more than a year by 22 paid staff overseen by a 16-member board of experts.  The Governor of Arkansas issued a commemorative stamp of the bird.  A book was written about it.  It became accepted fact.   The only problem was that it was not a fact at all.  It was a product of hype.

I quote Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs: “The story of the ivory-billed woodpecker is a case study of how professionals in our time can deploy new tools and media to proclaim a new truth.  But it is also about how outsiders, many of them amateurs, can swarm this new fact with questions and contradictions to uncover an even more intriguing…opposing reality. The story of the IBWO is a tale of professionals erecting a citadel of expert opinion around a new truth, with a sequel about…amateurs assaulting that fortress and tearing it brick by brick to the ground.”  Sound familiar?

A fortress of academic certainty was debunked by reality.  Shades of Bigfoot, that enigma of the deep woods for which absolutely no evidence has been produced over a period of many decades save for questionable sightings, very blurry photos of what could be anything and some indistinct ‘footprints,’ yet is sworn to exist by phalanxes of complicit fans.

The IBWO project was largely abandoned in 2010, although Fish & Wildlife offers a sizeable award for positive evidence.  The money is still in the bank, and Bigfoot remains invisible.

Earth’s conditions continue to change because of constant cosmological and geological activity, and most of it has to do with the oceans that cover more than 70% of it (that’s right—land is limited to less than 30% of the earth’s surface, and much of that is undeveloped). The earth precesses (wobbles on its axis) and its poles shift.  The atmosphere is chaotic: temperatures change; sunspots affect climate; recent studies show that the sun’s activity affects the formation of certain clouds (water vapor), which themselves affect climatic conditions. Plate tectonics move entire continental masses, and sub-sea rifting and vulcanism affect ocean currents and temperatures world-wide. Earth is not a static entity—it’s dynamic, constantly changing, chaotic, and it’s big. Conditions on earth and in its atmosphere change as well—they must.  Refer to http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=148

Spending years and billions to try to “correct” a condition that man cannot alter is an expensive exercise in futility.  Treat the planet with respect—that’s all that’s required.  It will take care of us as it will.

 

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