Saturday, March 26, 2011
Last Sunday afternoon the TigerHawk
Teenager Son and I went to the American Museum of Natural History for a couple of hours. I spotted this little warning in one of the exhibits. Insofar as it raises at least as many questions as it answers, I suspect there was some small negotiation over its precise wording.
Could we have an equivalent book about the coming glacial age such as Alas Babylon or Earth Abides, two of my favorite science fiction novels? Both of these novels postulate the sudden decimation of the earth's population as in the story of Noah and the great flood, but the onset of an ice age would be more gradual notwithstanding the recent movie.
It’s no longer about the science, it’s about the semiotics.
You could parse the Museum’s statement for hours. Philosopher Karl Popper would approve the first sentence as “scientifically true.” The second sentence carries a momentous inference. The third puts AGW theory in its proper place; Penelope Cruz “may” still find me.
Time Magazine reports on how the Greens are re-strategizing: The Greening of the American Brain “It's a question whispered by climate scientists and pondered by environmental activists: why don't they believe us?” Their answer is to say that the brains of Skeptics are badly wired: Skeptics have too many cognitive biases. Sayeth Time, with no hint of irony: “What's the answer for environmentalists? Change the message and frame the issue in a way that doesn't trigger unconscious opposition among so many Americans.” Once again, it’s all about the children.
We’re on trajectory to burn more coal. That’s the one certainty.
Ruddiman's Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum, gives evidence that humans did change the climate with settled farming - both the plants and the domesticated animals contributing to warming. Without that, we would indeed be well into an Ice Age cycle now, with more to come.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice
Surprised that Niven/Pournelle's Fallen Angels was not referenced. It's a nice bit of speculative fiction, but of course we all know that we would never get to the point where AGW nuts would take over the US Government. Right?