Another local Fresno legal type whose blog I periodically read wrote recently about issues of global warming. He’s convinced that scientific evidence of global warming is akin to the anecdotal evidence he received from a cabbie in Alaska recently — and just as (un)reliable.
He wonders why Discover and the New York Times keep printing bogus stories about global warming.
[W]hy do the proponents have to lie, and when they aren’t lying, ignore the evidence provided by real experts like the Alaska Climate Research Center, who one would think might know what they are talking about. — Peter Sean Bradley, “Global Warming in Alaska” (January 20, 2005) Lex Communis.
Mr. Bradley fails to recognize — or perhaps just to admit? — that googling your way to scientific knowledge is a bit like thinking you’re an architect because you watch HGTV every weekend. Or perhaps it’s like believing America is a Christian nation because after we felt stung over a U.N. official’s comment, we successfully competed in a worldwide pissing match over who gives the most aid to a couple hundred thousand tsunami victims while we ignore the millions (approximately 35 million) of poor, hungry and homeless in our own country. (And we “won” that match by stealing money that was already earmarked for Iraq, I might add. Funny how with the current Administration one deception frequently fuels another. It’s like living in a giant Ponzi scheme.)
It’s difficult for me to understand how someone as old as Mr. Bradley (whom I believe is at least as old as me) could not merely go off his own memory to begin to wonder if there wasn’t something to global warming. When I first moved to California in 1966, you could see the mountains to the east of Visalia from N.A.S. Lemoore — a distance of perhaps 35-40 miles. Winters were colder, too. Today, I live just a few miles from those same mountains, in Clovis, California. Unless it rains, I have trouble seeing them. Heck, forget that! Unless it rains, I have trouble seeing just a few miles down the road!
And I don’t remember the last time I was truly cold.
Seriously, he mentions “experts” in Alaska? So what about the fact that, according to Alaskan experts, winters in the Artic are becoming shorter? What about the fact that this is affecting oil drilling? What about the fact that because of that the U.S. Energy Department is providing a grant to determine if there are ways to get around with the impact the shorter winters are having on oil exploration efforts in the area?
Do Mr. Bradley’s Alaskan experts not include the Alaska Regional Assessment Group, whose reports were published by the Center for Global Change and Artic System Research at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks? Are they not experts? If not, why would they be funded by the International Arctic Science Committee of Oslo, Norway? Why would the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, give them money? How did they get the support of the Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey group? According to a report they released in 1999,
Alaska has experienced the largest regional warming of any state in the U.S., with a rise in average temperature of about 5°F (3°C) since the 1960s and 8°F (4.5°C) in winter. Records from some regions show a warming of nearly 3-4°F (1.5-2°C) quite suddenly in the late 1970s…. There has been extensive melting of glaciers, thawing of permafrost and reduction of sea-ice. The Alaskan regional warming trend is part of a larger warming trend throughout the Artic. Preface and Executive Summary of The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (December 1999) Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research.
It’s difficult to read most of the reports “posted” by the “experts” in whom Mr. Bradley places so much faith. It seems their expertise does not extend to the Internet; the majority of their links are to “file:///IceAxe/Users/martha/Desktop/…” which, of course, is not something you could reach via the Internet.
Mr. Bradley, however, is quite confident that the link he used to their site shows no global warming…
In comments to his post, Mr. Bradley chides one of his readers:
I guess the fact that you are confusing my blog with the New York Times and Discover magazine is quite natural. After all, they have paid reporters and researchers who are trained to convey the nuances of complex scientific stories, which might conceivably be expected to include the fact that there is an absence of evidence for human-caused global warming in precisely the region where it should be most pronounced.
I, on the other hand, am a blogger who knows how to use Google. — Peter Sean Bradley, Comments to Global Warming in Alaska (January 2, 2005) Lex Communis.
Or perhaps those paid reporters and researchers trained to convey such nuances have evaluated the “evidence” of which Mr. Bradley preens himself for discovering. Perhaps as they did so, the evidence melted away.
And perhaps I, too, am a blogger who knows how to use Google.
Now if I could only get him to update the reciprocal link he was gracious enough to provide me on his website. 😉