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| Editorial | John W. Ashbury | Chris Cavey | Norman M. Covert | Kevin E. Dayhoff | Wile E. Delaplaine | Alan Imhoff | Patricia A. Kelly | David 'Kip' Koontz | Karen Lewis | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Roy Meachum | Katie Nash | Chris Patterson | Derek Shackelford | Billy Shreve | John P. Snyder | Tony Soltero | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | George Wenschhof |

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"Eye-Opening Convulsion" Redux

January 5, 2007

Oh my, "right-wing propaganda"! Oh no, "fundamentalists!" Yikes, "Religious Fundamentalists!" (If it is right-winged, then it must be, ahhhhh, "Christian Fundamentalists"! Scary.)

Who needs the facts when it is so much easier to throw around these terms? Golly willikers, if the scientific community is "nearly unanimous" about Global Warming, then it must be true. Heck, they were also "nearly unanimous" that all cholesterol was bad. They were "nearly unanimous" that we were facing Global Cooling, not warming in the 1970's. And, gosh, if an Insurance Company is using this unanimity to alter their policies, (and not pay out as much money) then, heavens, that must make it true as well!

What a load of pollucka! I have a degree in Environmental Science and regulated the waterways in North Carolina for 10 years. While I am not an "expert," I have a dabbling of knowledge in this area.

I refer you to this Washington Post article on the issue: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/23/AR2006052301305.html?referrer=emailarticle" Global Warming - Washington Post article

I doubt most people would consider the Washington Post to be a "right-wing" rag. In fact, this article has its own bias referring to those who do not buy into "Global Warming" as "skeptics." But, that aside, it is a well-written, well-researched article and worth the time to read, Mr. Soltero. Unfortunately, it does contain those "facts" which do get in the way of promoting this issue and how "we" (mostly Americans) caused it!

I noticed in your bio, that you work in the computer field, Mr. Soltero. I made environmental computer models for 10 years, (in North Carolina; still in the computer business, but in another area now). I worked on air-quality models in college and kept up my reading and research in this area.

Long and short, computers cannot replicate the complexity of the "real world," no matter how much we want them to, or how well reasoned an argument may seem. Just watch the local news every night and see how well they forecast the weather. Not sure what it will be next week, but positive we are causing Global Warming. Right..

Science is moving away from actual testing to an almost total dependency upon computer models. They are easier, quicker, and can do an amazing amount of computations quickly. But that does not mean they are correct. The world, the body, most everything that is computer modeled is far more complex than our current modeling capabilities, (and for that matter, more complicated than our finite minds can grasp).

Please do not misunderstand me. These models are necessary and useful! They can help prevent environmental damage amongst other things. But they are not necessarily accurate and true. And they can cause more damage than benefit.

For instance, it used to be that nitrogen was a big environmental problem. So our models worked out breaking that down before it reached the waterways. Unfortunately, it breaks down into nitrates and nitrites. Hence, the model caused further problems and companies had to pay big money to change what was previously required by their government. In other words, it fixed one problem, but caused another. A bit of skepticism is worth the effort.

When a scientist sets up a model, she/he uses "assumptions" for that model; what are the background conditions, how fast will things change, are there unaccounted conditions, (pesky things like the oceans being able to subsume huge amounts of CO2), et al.?

To understand the "truth" of a modeling prediction, you need to know the "truth" of the assumptions. When I modeled for the state of North Carolina, our assumptions were so "worst case scenario" that they no longer represented any possibility of a "real world" condition. When you pile this worst case together with that worst case, ad infinitum, you come to a point where the conditions could never actually exist.

Gosh, don't you just hate it when these crazy "right-wing fundamentalist" point out the "facts".?

Finally, that pesky "Theory of Evolution" thing also has some glaring problems. Since Darwin, the newly proclaimed expert in this field was a fella named Stephen Jay Gould. He came up with a theory called "punctuated equilibrium."

Again, this was based upon a computer modeling scenario; funny thing is the assumptions for this model aren't available to the general public. This 'theory" is based upon mutations. Virtually all mutations among animals end in death. Those tiny portion of mutations that do not end in death, usually end in problems, not advances, (e.g., three legs, one eye, an extra limb that has no function, etc.).

But, if one were to "assume" that these mutations were not deadly but often beneficial and put that assumption into a computer model. Viola! A new and improved species! The Second Law, (not theory) of Thermodynamics, (a Readers Digest definition: things move in a direction of being less complex, not more complex) causes real problems with that assumption.

But heck, there is "nearly unanimous" consensus among scientists that the Theory of Evolution is true.

Farrell Keough, Urbana, MD


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