Yesterday morning I heard a desperate plea from a scientifically- challenged bird dude (Ornithologist, I presume) who was conveying the plight of our soon to be extinct little tuxedo-wearing friends to the far North and South. The cause? Of course, as usual, the always within reach catch-all: Man-Made Global Warming/Cooling/Change.
Bird dude: The earth is cooling now. We might be killing the penguin but not by warming the planet. It's probably those plastic six-pack deals we always see pictures of around some bird's neck. I guess any "ology" will do these days. Ornithology qualifies one for Climatology.
Scientists led by Dee Boersma, a UW biology professor and penguin expert has found that, while climate change is an important factor in the decline in numbers of penguin species, loss of habitat through coastal development, pollution and depletion of fisheries are also reasons for the dramatic fall.
That's right! Just throw "climate change" in their for good measure. Hysteria is a requisite ingredient of any "news" story of late.
A reader of the WSJ writes:
"I think the global-warming delusion is definitely to be considered in any attempt at epistemology. If this kind of mass delusion can happen, it suggests that a lot of other things we think we know may be confused as well."
-- Eric Baum, responding to "Global Warming as Mass Neurosis."
Hey! Another "ology". For you etymologists, epistemology, otherwise known as the theory of knowledge...
"is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. The term was introduced into English by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864).
Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification."
It would appear that the word epistimology can be smartly introduced into any discussion of Man-Made Global Warming/Cooling/Change.
"Truth, belief and justification."
Reverse those three words and you have the chronology (another great "ology") of the MMGW movement.
Excerpts from the article, Global Warming as Mass Neurosis
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it's time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in.
What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA's Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of "99% confidence").
But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.
The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years.
If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.