Global Warming: Part Two

This week I finished the book On Thin Ice, which is subtitled “The Changing World of the Polar Bear”.  Which should have been subtitled “The Disappearing World of the Polar Bear”.

In the book, the author quotes biologist David Ehrenfeld, who came up with a composite definition of all the characteristics you would have to have as an animal to be prime for extinction.  Here is his definition: 

“It turns out to be a large predator with a narrow habitat tolerance, long gestation period, and few young per litter.  It is hunted for a natural product and/or for sport but is not subject to efficient game management.  It has a restricted distribution, but travels across international boundaries.  It is intolerant of man, reproduces in aggregates, and has nonadaptive behavioral idosyncrasies.  Although there is probably no such animal, this model, with one or two exceptions, comes very close to being a description of the polar bear.”  Or tigers. 

Polar bears can only live on Arctic ice.  Which may all be melted by 2050. 

This brings me to the topic of global warming “deniers”.  They hate that term, so I tried to come up with a friendlier term but failed. 

Global warming denial intially took the following form:  it isn’t happening,  Next:  Okay, it is happening, but it isn’t caused by man.  It’s a natural cycle. (We’ll call this the Sarah Palin attitude.)

In the natural cycle camp, I came across this quote on another blog: 

“You don’t have to be a scientist or a math wiz to see the fallacy of man made global warming. Go to Google and look up: last ice age. You will note that the extent of the ice dropped into the upper mid west. That was 14 000 years ago. The ice began receeding some 10 000 years ago. I am unaware of a single F250 or coal fired plant at the time. It’s nice to get excited about melting glaciers, after 10 000 years. Nice timing.”

So that’s your argument?  I think it makes my argument.  If you, scientifically speaking, believe that CO2 and methane and nitrous oxide  do not have heat-retaining capabilities, then please retire to your cabin in Idaho.  And if you do not believe that there is more CO2 and methane and nitrous oxide because there are more humans on the planet….then kindly take your textbooks debunking evolution with you to Idaho. 

Even better is this comment:  

“Upon further review, it’s not amazing at all, as the global warming movement consists largely of three groups of people: Communists who were disenfranchised when the Soviet block fell, but still hope to destroy capitalism with burdensome taxes and regulation, ostensibly aimed at “solving” a problem that doesn’t exist; Democrat politicians who see global warming as an opportunity establish complete government control over commerce; and the “useful idiots” who live a life of fear and are always ready to buy into the hype of the next big, bad thing that supposedly threatens us.”

Communists? ( Are there any left?)  Useful idiots?  Tools of the Communist Threat?  Oh.  My.  How did we get here?  I thought Joe McCarthy was dead. 

Nobody with any sense denies global warming.  And nobody with any sense denies that humans are contributing to it.  The only real question is, how much…and can we do anything about it.  Maybe, maybe not.  But we should try. 

It amazes me that the same  people who get up in arms about the debt we will supposedly be leaving to their children and grandchildren don’t care about whether or not their children and grandchildren will ever see a polar bear.  And why should I care?  I don’t know.  I won’t be there when the polar bear becomes extinct. 

I leave you with a quote from the book which somehow expresses it. 

“We need another and wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.  Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge, and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.  We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.  And therein, we err, we greatly err.  For the animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of senses we have lost or never attained, living by forces we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”


18 responses to “Global Warming: Part Two

  1. masteroftheuniverse

    Insulting comments like the “Cabin in Idaho” are just a small sample of the vitriol that people on the right have to put up with from the left. The dismissal of us as unintelligent kooks is particularly annoying, being that the lack of civility emanates from the left. The right does not have a chance in a civil debate with the left as it’s very tough to get by the self-righteousness and refusal to admit that they’re wrong about anything. The author excepted, many people on the left resort to strong invective when vigorously challenged. Still, the dismissal, name calling, and instant ridicule is particularly disheartening. I don’t see any change in the future, as the left is not accommodating, civil to opponents, is very prejudiced, predictable, and set in their ways

    • > the lack of civility emanates from the left.

      That statement lacks historical merit.

      > left is not accommodating, civil to opponents, > is very prejudiced, predictable, and set in
      > their ways

      As is the right….

      Yes, the “left” must be as civil as Rush, Glenn, et. al.

      There is little civil debate in this country. But even if there could be, it would be irrelevant. Power is all that matters.

  2. Nice read. It’ll be interesting when the naysayers start to comment.

  3. Those on the right are guilty of the very thing they are complaining about. Instead of attacking your argument they babble on about how life is so unfair.
    I find their incessant whining something akin to a really bad art collection.

  4. “Nobody with any sense denies global warming. And nobody with any sense denies that humans are contributing to it. ”

    Exactly what are you trying to accomplish with these words? Very beneath you. Just a reminder: reasonable and intelligent people can look at the same facts and reach different conclusions. An apology from this reader is expected.


  5. masteroftheuniverse

  6. Global warming? What’s next” That the world isn’t flat

  7. masteroftheuniverse

    “Global warming? What’s next” That the world isn’t flat”

    It’s comments like this, designed to insult the people who disagree with the author, that are so insensitive and insulting, and just plain bad manners. Everyone realizes that the people on the left think they’re a little better, smarter, more caring, and nicer than the Neanderthals on the right. This self delusional behavior would be laughable, except for the danger to so9ciety it poses. Thing is that the left can dish it out but can’t take it. Frankly, I wish you’d take the entire post down, as civil discourse in the spirit of Franklin is just impossible.

  8. Good God man! And I don’t even believe in him. Please stop whining and refute the argument. You don’t come off being a victim very well.

    Your hatchet job on me is proof of that. Fakename’s blog was funny and informative. That the polar ice caps could be melted and the polar bear extinct by 2050 should be the basis of concern rather than “the cabin in Idaho.”

  9. Rocky, I’m not sure who you think is owed an apology and for what, but I’ll assume it’s me who should be apologizing. Putting all sarcasm aside, I am truly, genuinely unaware of any serious person–“right” or “left” who denies that the planet is warming. I know you don’t deny it.
    The notion that the “left” is the sole proprietor of ridicule is…ridiculous. Sample: calling the President Barack Hussein Obama (emphasis on Hussein) the “Messiah” and those who agree with him sheeple. Not to mention Communists, Democrats, and/or useful idiots. In comparison, I think my rhetoric is rather mild.
    After re-reading it several times, I see nothing in this post that can be construed as a personal attack on any individual–even Sarah Palin. So it is not actually beneath me. Sometimes you have to allow people their little jokes. I, for instance, had to laugh at the comment on Jeff’s post that said “trying to have an intelligent comment with someone on the left is like trying to nail jello to a tree”. You have to admit…that is funny. Even if you’re jello.

  10. masteroftheuniverse

    @eehard, I will say this once, and once only. I refuse to engage with you in debate after your invective filled hissy fit the other day where you called me a douche bag and were a poster child for rudeness. If anyone is whining, it’s you. I’ll let you have the last word as I suspect that you really need a few victories, however small, in your life.

  11. No one is trying to win anything here. And I could care less if you engage or debate with me.

    All I care about is reading substantive debate. Frankly, you bore me. None of your comments have anything to do with global warming. All you’re doing is engaging in a false sense of superiority denouncing those who don’t think like you.

    • BTW, I apologized to Fakename for that remark and I extend it to you as well. It was wrong of me to do that on her page.

  12. I’m sorry that the “douchebag” comment got revived, since it would have been buried for all eternity except for you bringing it up, Jeff. And in this case, eehard has not resorted to that again, and further, he has a point. Refute the argument…
    It’s odd how far afield the comments have drifted from the subject of polar bears.

  13. masteroftheuniverse

    Phyllis, there was a lot more to your post that polar bears. The reckless chastisement of those who don’t agree with your point of view. The “Cabin in Idaho” snark. Have you ever been friends with someone from Idaho? You insulted the citizens of that fine state, and I hope it’s not out of the typical liberal sense of arrogance…you’re better than that. You guys throw words around in a very cavalier manner without thinking of the consequences. As for the mentioning of the named calling. I was never apologized to, then when I bring it up, I’m the bad guy. Nice way to twist things. Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing me around here anymore, as I don’t wish to bring the IQ level down any more than it already has.

  14. Dang, Jeff…do you hear yourself? I guess I will have to despair of this being a post about global warming and polar bears.
    The reference to Idaho was merely a humorous one, referring to its history as the home of extremist, right-wing, patriot-movement, white supremacists. The people of Idaho are not to blame. They just have a lot of space to hide in. I could have used Tennessee, where I was born, and so was the Ku Klux Klan (in Pulaski). It was an example. And when you have to explain a joke, it sort of loses something in the translation.
    I hope you only mean that I won’t see you around any more on this particular post, because it would seriously grieve me to lose your perspective. Nothing I say is ever intended to insult you personally, but if you choose to take it that way, I’m mystified as to how I can change that.
    I try not to take things personally, but that comment about IQ level tests my patience. It isn’t exactly issue-oriented.

  15. Also, it took a while for this to sink in, but the suggestion that I take down my own post because…of whatever…is incomprehensible to me.
    I also object to the phrase “throwing around words in a cavalier manner without thinking of the consequences”. What consequences? That I might hurt your feelings? I would never even have guessed that it would. If it did, here is my suggestion: get a thicker skin. You can’t put yourself out here, as I do by writing a blog at all, and not expect to get dinged at times.
    I will say that “cavalier” is only the second time I’ve had that word applied to me. The first was when I saw an allergist after being stung by fire ants. He seriously harangued me about my “cavalier” attitude, because I did not call 911 when it happened.
    He is unquestionably right. But there is an example of a life or death situation, which I definitely screwed up on. But my words are not life or death, and are for the most part carefully considered.

  16. Well FN, I’ve decided to postpone the blog I’ve already written for Sunday for another topic because of what two commenters here are doing. On YOUR blog!
    I assure you I will not be civilized….

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