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March 01, 2007

Innuit Blame U.S. For Thinning Arctic Ice

Al Gore and Sheila Watt-Cloutier have more in common than being nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize: both hold the U.S. to blame for global warming and its perceived effects in the Arctic.

The Inuits of Northern Canada and beyond are taking their case against the United States on Thursday to an international human rights commission. They have scant chance of a breakthrough but still hope to score moral and political points against the U.S. and its carbon spewers.

Ah yes, the ever-important "moral and political points against the U.S." Anything to make America out to be the bad guy about something, even though nothing has been definitively proven about man's role in the gradual warming of our planet.

That's right. Even though Al Gore claims the debate is "over," it's not. Scientific consensus does not exist. Saying the sky is purple does not make it so, no matter how many times one proclaims it from one's self-constructed pedestal. Writing for the Cato Institute in a lengthy essay that discusses the greenhouse effect, scientific issues behind it and other pertinent topics, has this to say about "global warming consensus":

Why, one might wonder, is there such insistence on scientific unanimity on the warming issue? After all, unanimity in science is virtually nonexistent on far less complex matters. Unanimity on an issue as uncertain as "global warming'' would be surprising and suspicious. Moreover, why are the opinions of scientists sought regardless of their field of expertise? Biologists and physicians are rarely asked to endorse some theory in high energy physics. Apparently, when one comes to "global warming,'' any scientist's agreement will do.

The answer almost certainly lies in politics. For example, at the Earth Summit in Rio, attempts were made to negotiate international carbon emission agreements. The potential costs and implications of such agreements are likely to be profound for both industrial and developing countries. Under the circumstances, it would be very risky for politicians to undertake such agreements unless scientists "insisted.'' Nevertheless, the situation is probably a good deal more complicated than that example suggests.

Lindzen, by the way, is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so in my opinion, he has a lot more credibility than Al Gore, who has a BA in government and a law degree. However, in Gore's educational favor, the University of Michigan might be giving him an honorary doctorate. They've also given honorary doctorates to new age singer Yanni and cartoonist Charles Schulz...but I digress.

Writing for the Times of India, S. Anklesaria Aiyar cuts to the chase:

In the media, disaster is news, and its absence is not. This principle has been exploited so skillfully by ecological scare-mongers that it is now regarded as politically incorrect, even unscientific, to denounce global warming hysteria as unproven speculation.

This "human rights" case being brought by Watt-Cloutier and the Inuit will simply be touted as more proof that whatever global warming there is can be blamed on man, and more specifically, on the U.S. With the bloated bureaucracy of unelected officials called the U.N. calling for a global temperature ceiling and a carbon tax, doesn't it make you wonder why global warming, and not the global cooling scare from thirty years ago, is now the cause du jour?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:00 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Well said. I'm not sure what human rights' commission worthy of its salt has time to deal with such spurious claims.

There are millions of actual human rights' abuses across the globe, of course. Canadians seem peculiarly unable to deal with them.

It might be worthy of the blogosphere to investigate the authority of so called 'human rights' commissions' and check their actual track record. Are these commissions fronts for the very abuses they seek to prosecute?

Posted by: jng at March 1, 2007 10:45 AM

Well, the USA is only 4 percent of the world's population, and we emit 25 percent of the world'd greenhouse gas polluion.

Sure sound like an issue worth of discussion as a human rights violation.

To dismiss the claims of the Inuit out of hand speaks volumes about conservative morality.

Posted by: bob at March 1, 2007 01:38 PM

Well, Bob, when it can be proven without a doubt that greenhouse gases from the US are solely responsible for any melting ice in the Arctic (and not just Al Gore's proclamations), I'll be happy to discuss human rights violations. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by: Pam at March 1, 2007 01:46 PM

Yeah! Why should we have to deal with this problem? If I want my gas-guzzling American-made pickup, who's to tell me I can't have it? Just because it's damn near impossible to find an actual scientific piece of research that contradicts the "intellectuals" who want to take away my coal-powered electricity, that doesn't mean it's actually true, you know, "without a doubt". Besides, the only people who will really be affected in this country are the illegals in Miami and the pinkos in San Francisco. Right? Put those crazies under water!! And the Innuit should be happy that they don't have to be so cold anymore.

Posted by: Ro at March 1, 2007 06:11 PM

" If I want my gas-guzzling American-made pickup, who's to tell me I can't have it?" (Ro's comment)

Indeed, Ro. You are undeniably correct. (Your comments on the illegals and pinkos are offensive, by the way.)

Posted by: jng at March 1, 2007 06:56 PM

Did you see that NASA has discovered global warming on Mars? For details, see http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/newsroom/20050920a.html. The sun is not a machine. Weather fluctuates over time. Of course, man's actions have an impact. But let's not stop the scientific debate. Don't we all want to create a better life?

Posted by: Robert at March 3, 2007 09:37 PM

Sorry jng...I thought my sarcasm was obvious enough. Bob -- you got it, right? I'm actually glad, and a bit surprised, that someone on this blog who thought I was speaking in earnest thought it was offensive. (Full disclosure: I live in SF with relatives in Miami, and I'm quite frankly scared out of my wits about what would happen if the polar icecaps go, and by the attitude that many well-meaning conservatives take toward many of the groups in both places.)

Posted by: Ro at March 5, 2007 04:07 PM

Ro, never fear...despite all the crankiness by conservatives regarding moonbats in places like SF and other coastal areas, we'd all pull together to make sure all our citizens got out okay in the event of flooding caused by GW, even though it would mean we would have to listen to their ranting that things didn't get done quickly enough! ;-)

Posted by: Pam at March 5, 2007 04:30 PM

I do appreciate that, Pam. How about we all work together now to keep those polar icecaps right where they are? Then we "moonbats" can stay right where we are. No ranting needed! No rescue mission!

Posted by: Ro at March 5, 2007 04:51 PM

I'd be happy to, Ro, but it seems the sun doesn't feel like cooperating (see Robert's link above).

Seriously, 30 years ago it was the coming ice age, today it's the coming hothouse. What's next? I'm not saying ignore it altogether, but I am saying that the consensus Al Gore claims exists does not. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with the idea that man is solely responsible for global warming. Should we have them silenced because they don't conform to the fashionable view? That would be akin to what happened to Galileo. For a scientific discipline that has trouble predicting the weather seven days from now to predict that our coastlines will disappear within the next twenty years due to heightened global temperatures would be comic if it weren't being taken so seriously by many. The debate is not over, it's barely begun.

And, I have real difficulty in taking the panic seriously when its frontman thinks paying for offsets excuses him from conserving, but the rest of us had better start toeing the line.

Posted by: Pam at March 5, 2007 05:00 PM

Pam -- The link was definitely very interesting; thank you for directing me to it (and to you, Robert). However, the article does not list anything having to do with the sun as a cause for the CO2 polar caps melting. It points, instead, to the massive dust storms -- particles in the atmosphere that weren't there before. Granted, those dust storms aren't happening here, and we have no knowledge from the article as to what caused them on Mars. We are, however, putting very large quantities of different particles in the air, and I don't think that there is any scientific disagreement over that. Octane + Oxygen = Water Vapor + Carbon Dioxide. Can't get past it.
I definitely understand your concern over Al Gore, and I certainly would never advocate that dissenting scientists be silenced. But, as a former member of the scientific academia community, I have simply never run into one of these dissenters, even in working with companies that have everything to gain should it all be a lie.
Perhaps the panic is a little much. But, one needs only to try to locate a star in the sky above a large city or move within 50 miles of a coal processing facility to know that we are really putting a lot of crap out there. Perhaps you strongly dislike the frontman of the movement -- fair enough, but have you let your distaste for him color your views of the hundreds of scientific papers which do, indeed, point to man-made global climate change? Is there really anything wrong with the idea that we can have cleaner air, less dependence on politically disasterous areas that hate us anyway, and just maybe avert a world-wide disaster in the meantime?

Posted by: Ro at March 5, 2007 05:45 PM

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