May 21, 2009

Hysteria From the Skeptical Side of the Fence (Part 1)

I recently told a friend that one of the reasons I've grown suspicious of the global warming hypothesis is because of the hysterical tone in which it's so often discussed. People who feel the need to resort to emotionally-charged pronouncements rather than calm, reasoned arguments make me uneasy.

This is equally true where skeptics are concerned. If you want to convince me of your point-of-view, please stick to facts and data. Extremist language, name-calling, and what I (as an atheist) refer to as God-talk, simply won't accomplish your goal.

Enter Edward F. Blick. I've never met this gentleman, but on paper he sounds impressive. He holds a PhD in engineering science, has been a professor in several fields, and has worked as a consultant to NASA and the United States Air Force.

Despite all of this, his tone in a recently-released 24-page document titled Global Warming Myth and Marxism: How the U.N. and Marxist Economists Have Used the Global Warming Myth to Wreck World Economies is less than professional.

My unease begins near the bottom of page two, where it says: "All scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, unless otherwise noted." This is not the sort of statement one expects to find in a paper that ends with six pages of gorgeous graphs devoted to empirical subjects such as temperature, solar irradiance, CO2 levels, and sunspot cycles.

Then there's the last line of the summary/abstract (at the top of page 3): "God rules the climate, not man." Right.

A few lines later, in what is the first real paragraph of his paper, Dr. Blick accuses the United Nations of being not only "lawless" and "corrupt" but "anti-God." That's where I stopped reading the first time around.

The only reason I've looked up this paper again is because, on reflection, I feel it's important that I read it in its entirety. If I'm going to criticize advocates of global warming theory for hysteria, fair play demands that I do the same in an instance such as this.

[read Part 2 here]