Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Heidelberg Appeal

Back in 1992 a petition began circulating throughout the scientific community. This petition was drafted in response to the "growing concern" of global warming. Check it out here. Despite it's 4000+ signatories, including several nobel prize winners, it's largely been ignored by the global warming doom and gloomers who have managed to take control of the discussion and use it get rich, influence politics and convince people that they need to be told how to live "or else". The poorest countries have used global warming to demand the wealth of richer nations. The Chinese have used it to justify their one child per family policy. Businessmen and corporations have used it to get rich by convincing companies and governments that their technologies are "better" even though they're much more costly and inefficient. The super rich global warming doomers have even used it to justify their hypocritical extravagent lifestyles by claiming that their business dealings and investments offset their much larger than average carbon footprints. Scientists themselves use it to get grants so that they can afford to continue their "research". Meanwhile, this tight knit niche of scientists colludes amongst themselves and figures out ways to discredit and margilize anyone with a dissenting opinion.

Here's the appeal. It's short and sweet but should make sense to everyone. If you're actually honest then it's blatantly obvious that those trying to push the global warming agenda would happily wipe their ass with this because they have so much to gain by convincing the masses that it's actually happening, that it's our fault and that we have to do something to stop it.

The Heidelberg Appeal

We want to make our full contribution to the preservation of our common heritage, the Earth.

We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to
scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development.

We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and
has probably never existed since man's first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by
increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We full subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a
universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved.

But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on
irrational preconceptions.

We stress that many essential human activities are carried out either by manipulating hazardous substances or in their proximity,
and that progress and development have always involved increasing control over hostile forces, to the benefit of mankind.

We therefore consider that scientific ecology is no more than extension of this continual progress toward the improved life of
future generations.

We intend to assert science's responsibility and duties toward society as a whole.

We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet's destiny against decisions which are supported by
pseudoscientific arguments or false and nonrelevant data.

We draw everybody's attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which
matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and
avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their

The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology, and Industry, whose
instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shaped by Humanity, by itself and for itself,
overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide diseases.

Then of course there's the Global Climate Change Petition that was signed by 30,0000 American scientists. This was a much more anti global warming document. Since only about 500 or so of the scientists were actually involved in the field of climatology in some way and it takes aim at the actual science of global warming (unlike the Heidelberg Appeal which just urges people to follow real facts and the scientific process) it doesn't have as much credibility.

Obviously, I'm in the "global warming deniers" group. Man-made global warming is overstated. There's as much evidence to prove this as there is evidence to prove AGW. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't turn our thermostats down in the winter or up in the summer. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't take a bike or the bus when we don't really need to drive a car. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't recycle. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to become as self sufficient as possible. What it means is that our leaders shouldn't use this as an excuse to tell us how we need to live our lives by artificially regulating everything to "avert a crisis". It means that scientists should stop trying to find ways to skew facts to fit their agenda. It means that the powers that be need to be open and transparent and stop treating us like stupid little kids. Be straight with me. Don't try to scare me. My natural reaction to any threat is to get defensive. It's the same for a lot of people. The debate isn't over. Global warming dissenters aren't flat earthers or holocaust deniers. When you have to resort to tactics like insults, fear mongering and outright threats because you can't argue on the merit of your argument then there's obviously something wrong and it won't be long before people start to wake up. Hopefully it happens before these morons in Copenhagen come to some kind of consensus.


David said...

So people that believe in AGW are the ones resorting to ad hominems, but you still get to call the people meeting in Copenhagen morons? It's not about the people, it's about the science. Luckily, the concept is pretty straightforward which makes talking about it easier than, say, quantum theory:

A) The greenhouse effect is real. It's a scalable model that works when a layer of glass covers a tiny plant as well as when a layer of atmosphere covers a planet.
B) Certain gases, including CO2, contribute to the greenhouse effect.
C) Therefore, increasing the concentration of CO2 will increase the greenhouse effect on the planet.

Where is it wrong?

Anonymous said...

The conceit of deniers never ceases to amaze me.

Seriously, what is it about a certain type of person, especially amongst bloggers, that leads you to conclude that in your spare time, despite a lack of formal traning in the incredibly complex physics we're talking about here, you managed to notice something that literally thousands of scientists missed?

"Oh, well, the sun goes in cycles - the warming is probably due to the sun!"

Do you honestly think that that thought never occurred to thousands of specialists in climate science working over several decades?

You know why right-wingers are frequently deniers? 'Cause it's a perfect philosophy for the sort of person who wants to feel superior to most of humanity, but secretly has a very low opinion of themselves, and is in general a 2nd rate intellect.

Who was it that said "not all conservative people are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative."

David said...

Glad to see my "hey, let's not be dicks to each other" message got right through. By what possible measure did you come to the conclusion that your comment -- devoid of both substance and grammar in exchange for vitriol -- would be constructive? Yes, people these days think that they can be experts by attending google university. But it's not a right-wing thing. Just check out the comments section of any Huffington Post article about health (or, hell, any of the articles themselves) and you'll find similar behavior. Everyone feels superior to the rest of humanity, and it's ridiculous (and ironic) to say that only people that disagree with you are so stupid as to think that they are better than the rest of us.

You're being the opposite of helpful.

The Urban Survivalist said...

When did I say that CO2 has no impact on the global temperature? When did I say that there's no such thing as the greenhouse effect? These are facts that are provable. What's in contention is the impact that humans have on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and whether or not the marginal effect that we have is enough to have a significant impact on the global climate. There have been periods in the earth's history where the level of CO2 was much higher than it is now.

What's also in contention is how much other factors effect us. What's obvious is that if we're not causing it then there's not a whole lot we can do about it. What's also obvious is that our climate is changing (like it always has) and that it could negatively impact some people (and positively impact others). The bottom line is that it's obvious to anyone who opens their eyes that they're overstating things and using this "catastrophe" as a political and economic tool.

Anonymous you're proving my point. Don't bother arguing. Just remind anyone who doesn't agree with your point of view how stupid they are and how smart the people you agree with are. Forget about the fact that back in the 70s these same types of people were warning everyone that an ice age was immenint and that it was all our fault. Forget about the fact that when you start to question these guys they do things like shut off your mike and call security to shut you up. Don't even worry about it when several of the "facts" that they use as evidence are proven wrong. The debate is settled. You're too stupid to understand their answers, anyway. Hell, when they're talking amongst themselves you can't possibly hope to understand what they're "really saying" when they're talking about things like marginilizing scientific journals, skewing data or kicking someone's ass because they don't agree with them.

David said...

When you disagree with a theory, then you disagree with one of its foundational ideas. We agree that the climate is changing and doing alarming things, and we agree that human activity (burning fossil fuels as well as deforestation and eating meat) increases the levels of CO2. So why shouldn't we pour tons of research money into finding out what's going on? If AGW is right, then we'll know how to tackle the problem. If it's wrong, then we'll be one step closer to figuring out what the hell is making the climate so screwy. Either way, climate change (regardless of the cause) is a big deal and we need to research it and figure out what's going on before we kill ourselves.

Right now, AGW is the best explanation science has to offer. And even if AGW is totally false, there are still huge benefits to decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions. Take energy independence. Besides the obvious economic benefits, energy independence would greatly increase our national security. If we weren't hooked on oil, we wouldn't have sent billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, which means that that money wouldn't have gone to build the madrasahs that trained some dudes to fly planes into our buildings.

The examples continue. From preservation of the world's species to public health, cutting greenhouse gas emissions is a good idea. I expect that the science will end up backing AGW, but until it does it's a good idea to react for the sake of cautiousness as well as the fringe benefits.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I wouldn't say that we're agreeing that the climate is doing alarming things. The glaciers have been dissapearing for 100,000 years. As one side of Antarctica gets warmer the other side gets colder. There's evidence that what's going on is more predictable than we think. That evidence is just being ignored in favor of evidence that "proves" that it's all our fault and that we need to change our lifestyles RIGHT NOW! Not only do we need to change but EVERYTHING needs to be legislated and failure to comply will result in punishment. Oh and we have to send our money to the poorest, most corrupt nations in the world and trust them to put that money to good use. All of this while spending ridiculous amounts of money in our own country to update our infrastructure to much more expensive, inefficient forms of energy generation. This is what they're talking about in Copenhagen. This is the answer that these scientists who could still be wrong have for our world leaders. They're using AGW as to push their ideals. It's disingenuous and it will end up doing a lot more damage than they're willing to admit.

Goofy McWanker said...

David and The-Dude/Chick-Who's-Ashamed-To-Reveal-His/Her-Identity...if you were to dig a little deeper under the surface, which I understand requires effort and an independently-functioning brain, then you might discover that these revered scientists and 'world leaders' have a singular agenda behind all this ranting and fear-mongering: control.

UH OH! I must be one of those crazy, drooling, conspiracy-theorizing wackos you've read about in your THE ECONOMIST or other elitist drivel rag.

Time will tell, my friends; time will tell. AGW = Globalization = Not Good.