[ RadSafe ] extremism

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Wed Mar 21 21:48:58 CDT 2007

March 21

Ruth Sponsler wrote:

"This list has become host to extremist 'all-or-nothing' viewpoints that 
paint climate scientists as environmental extremists."

Also (referring to Duke Energy and two other parties):

"But here on the list, these utility CEOs and leaders are seen as just a 
bunch of people 'duped' into believing in a 'hoax' perpetrated by 
'left-wing' climatologists like MIT hurricane scientist Dr. Kerry 
Emanuel:  http://bostonreview.net/BR32.1/emanuel.html  Dr. Emanuel 
criticizes the 'Green' extremists for their anti-nuclear views.

"It seems there is no room on this list for a centrist, independent 
viewpoint between the extremes of the anti-technology, anti-everything 
viewpoint of Greenpeace (on the Left) and the 'let's 
release_unlimited_CO2_' viewpoint of Sen. James Inhofe (on the Right).  A 
political climate is dangerous when it allows no room between 
extremes."  (Did Sen. Inhofe actually say this, or is this the hyperbole of 
one of his detractors?)

In another posting, Ruth wrote:

"As I've said before, it's important to be careful about extremes. The 
climate situation has certainly brought out the extremes both on the Left 
and the Right."

         I think I have read all the messages in these global warming 
threads and I don't see anyone painting climate scientists as 
extremists.  Regardless of who has said what about whom, since 
you  Ruth  think RADSAFE has become host to a bunch of 'extremist 
viewpoints,' what do you think is a non-extremist viewpoint?  Or, to use 
your expression, what is a "centrist, independent viewpoint"?   And 
"independent" of 
what?  Industrialists?  Greens?  Democrats?  Republicans?  Orthodox 
science?  Un-orthodox science?  Independent of data?  "Independent" of 
what?  Please justify your position from both the scientific and 
philosophical perspective.

         As far as labeling people is concerned, I don't recall hearing 
that anyone had been 'duped' into anything, nor do I recall anyone being 
called a 'left-wing' climatologist.  I can recall Dr. Kerry Emanuel calling 
Sen. Inhofe a scientific illiterate, though.  Isn't waving around the 
labels right and left wing a waste of time anyway?  It proves nothing and 
accomplishes nothing (unless someone thinks being divisive is salutary, and 
I certainly hope no one here thinks divisiveness is salutary).

         Instead of trying to decide who is on what wing, let's talk about 
the science, and about what is known to be true.

         This link < 
http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html> was posted 
yesterday.  According to the material on this page (or links within it), 
the role of water vapor has been utterly ignored by global warming 
proponents (GWPs).  This is despite the fact that water vapor accounts for 
some 95% of greenhouse gases, and that only about one percent of water 
vapor is anthropogenic.

         At the same time, GWPs are moaning and groaning about 
CO2.  According to the above link, 186 billion tons of CO2 are produced 
every year.  Six billion of these tons are man-made  a mere three 
percent.  The other 97% comes from natural biological processes in the 
ocean, and from decaying plant matter.  As can plainly be seen, the human 
contribution to greenhouse gases is insignificant.

         In light of all this, would it be correct to say that blaming 
global warming on man-made greenhouse gases is an "extremist" 
position?  What do you think?  Ruth?  Anyone?

         As far as being "careful about extremes" is concerned, what is 
this supposed to mean?  As a hypothetical proposal, let's assume it is 
eventually and conclusively shown that humans can do nothing either way to 
influence global warming.  Would that be an extreme position, and if so, 
how would we go about being careful about it?

Steven Dapra
sjd at swcp.com

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