Monday, June 30, 2008

Mr. Bush, render those deniers!

Through really no fault of my own, today I was exposed to Roy Spencer, a University of Alabama at Huntsville Principal Research Scientist and climate change denier. And you'll recall my fascination with these people. Roy Spencer insists that
After 12 years of receiving no compensation for my writings, I was eventually asked to write global warming related articles for (now That website advocated science, technology, and free markets, and was indeed partially funded by oil interests. While I no longer write for that web site, over a three year period I augmented my "day job" salary by an average of 5% by writing articles. The views expressed in those articles were consistent with the views I had expressed for twelve years for no compensation. (Quite frankly, since I supported the ideals promoted on, I really didn't care who funded it).

The dirty little secret is that environmental organizations and global warming pessimists receive far more money from Big Oil than do global warming optimists such as myself.

Right? So, what makes these people dissent so deceitfully? I mean, follow the link. There's no question that Roy Spencer, at least, is lying instead of merely being wrong, although the argument is technical enough (relying as it does on your ability to run a climate model at home) that he can still walk around in public. But, I believe that he's not getting paid for it. I have a new theory.

(a) The deniers tend to focus on radiative forcing as the explanation for the increase in the climate's resident heat, when they're forced to confront the issue.

(b) That's obviously nonsense. Unless the Sun is edging toward nova or there were some nonsolar radiative force being applied to the earth.

(c) We'd know if the Sun were getting ready to blow. All sorts of stuff would happen -- there'd be a pretty excited magnetic signal, for one thing, and its shape would be changing. I think. I'm not a solar physicist. Anyway, I'm pretty sure there'd be clues.

(d) That radiative forcing is heating the climate up and the Sun is not going to explode suggests another radiative forcing. Nothing natural is around to do this, suggesting the forcing is artificial. Climate change deniers are implying that space aliens are attacking our planet with a slow cooker.

(e) Climate change deniers, therefore, want us to come to the conclusion on our own that we're being attacked by an alien race with planetary attack capabilities. They want to give us time to reflect on this long enough that we're prepared to capitulate.

(f) That there actually are radiative aliens is as absurd as any non-greenhouse-gas explanation for heating. I'm not particularly interested in whether molecules in some other part of the universe started to self-replicate and become more complex*. However, that these complex self-replicating molecules started attacking us with radiative weapons beggars my credulity.

(g) Climate change deniers want us in a, um, capitulant state in the absence of aliens for some other reason.

(h) You would want a population in a capitulant state (no, see, I use it twice and it becomes a word. Why doesn't Firefox's spell checker understand that?) if you were inclined to invade it.

(i) Climate change deniers are working on behalf of a foreign power intent on invading the United States of America. If I had to guess, I'd say China, but it's possible Saudi Arabia might strong arm Russia into doing it. That's a geopolitical relationship I'm having a little trouble parsing.

Now, so, I think I've proven to any rational reader than climate change deniers are agents of a foreign power. As it happens, the Supreme Court may be pressuring the Pentagon into letting our Guantanamo inmates go. So, that's available, is all I'm saying.

* -- I'm aware this may make me a bad person, but then again there are stronger arguments for that. And I think it's a valid enough question that we should publicly fund research into it, maybe out of a central pot of funds for Critically Reasoned Answers and Concepts in Knowledge. A 'CRACK pot' fund, if you will.

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