Sunday, July 26, 2009

There is no scientific consensus that human activity is the cause of global warming

[Warning: the above title contains extreme sarcasm]

Unless of course you take into account the accumulated consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the U.S. Global Change Research Program; the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; the European Academy of Sciences and Arts; the InterAcademy Council; the national science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Ghana, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; the Network of African Science Academies; the Royal Society of New Zealand; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the European Science Foundation; the National Research Council; the American Society for Microbiology; the Australian Coral Reef Society; the Institute of Biology; the Wildlife Society; the American Geophysical Union; the European Federation of Geologists; the European Geosciences Union; the Geological Society of America; the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics; the National Association of Geoscience Teachers; the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London; the American Meteorological Society; the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society; the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences; the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society; the Royal Meteorological Society; the World Meteorological Organization; the American Quaternary Association; the International Union for Quaternary Research; the American Astronomical Society; the American Statistical Association; and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Other than these and other scientific bodies, there's no consensus. For instance, the scientific organizations that officially refute this claim include... um... er... Do these assholes count?

-Kudos to whoever did all the real research for the original Wikipedia article.

-And as a bonus, here's some work the Center For Inquiry has done in debunking Senator James Inhofe's (R-OK) "list" of dissenting scientists with regards to human involvement in global warming.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just a thought

About those who think good and evil are properties of the universe rather than traits that depend on people interacting with them.

Suppose there are two enormous balls of matter floating in space. By all possible observations, they are too far away to be of consequence to anything or anyone. They host no lifeforms and never will have any impact on any sentient being, ever. It's just garbage floating harmlessly through space.

One day, two people are in an observatory with advanced instruments that allow them to witness the two objects collide. One person says to the other, "I'm glad no one was near that collision. At least it makes for a great show here on Earth," and the other looks offended and replies, "My friend, we have witnessed a horrendously evil event that the whole of Creation will mourn."

This is said about two lifeless objects hitting one another, nothing else.

How exactly can you argue with that if one can assume that certain things are good or evil regardless of their relation to people?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An idea I hope I can go through with

I just got an idea. I get them all the time and my laziness ensures that they never come to fruition. But I figure if I post it somewhere, it'll kick me in the direction to actually do something with it.

So my idea is a combination of two aspects I've been tossing around in my head. One is a comic that takes the point of view of the villain, because nobody seems to want to see things from their perspective. Seriously, imagine how hard it is to try to take over the world, etc. Then some jackass comes flying at you spouting off some kind of moral code you simply can't identify with, and then takes it upon himself to crush you in ways your plans could not have anticipated, and then he gets applauded by the public as a hero. It would be interesting to actually have the roles reversed.

But even though that's most definitely been done before, it's not really what's important about the idea. The second part of the idea is to have the villain be the antithesis of the religious fundamentalist: an atheistic, materialistic, logical being proclaiming "evil" and setting his sights on dominating the planet through SCIENCE. And his archnemesis is basically the instrument of God, a saintly being who upholds the fundamentalists' virtues to the greatest degree. I'd explain later how both of these two are able to manifest their abilities through their respective origins.

The whole idea is pretty much to show how distorted the fundamentalists' ideas of good and evil are, with good being kinda dark despite its supposed glorious aspects, and evil being quite reasonable really. It's the kind of embracing of the "evil atheist" label that manifests itself in fetus-shaped cookies and such, and it's actually kind of fun to play with. Seriously, all it does is show how ludicrous the idea that all this is so heinous and unspeakable. It won't even offend anyone you could talk to anyway, at least not yet. As long as it's not outright anticlericalism or eugenicism or some other ignorance like that, it's all in good fun. If they can't take the joke, what chance have they got to be reasoned with? They'd have to undergo some serious changes to be talked to, and in the meantime we shouldn't be deprived of the ability to express ourselves.

I'm not really sure if I wanted this to be entirely from the villain's point of view, so I might toy with the idea of both of them being used alternating as protagonists. I'm not asking for artists or anything while this thing hasn't really gotten out of my head and into text, but it's something to keep in mind for later. Seems like an interesting idea anyway.

Later peeps. For SCIENCE!