Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Climategate and Orthodoxy

By now, only those living under rocks and those who have ideologically blinded themselves have missed the Climategate scandal.  Even as world leaders gather in Coperhagen and pledge large amounts of taxpayers' money for plans they will never actually execute in the name of saving the world, more and more people are becoming aware of the leaked British e-mails that have finally shown what a hoax climate-change science has been.
In short, there is an endless stream of e-mails that say the following:
1) There is no real data that shows that climate change is occuring or has occured over the past decade.
2) Therefore data will be invented that shows climate change is occuring since, because we know it is, since the real data doesn't reflect this, we will have to create data that does.
3) Anyone who disagrees with us must be silenced.  It doesn't matter if they raise legitimate questions or have papers that prove we're wrong.  We must surpress them so we can continue to claim all "real" scientists agree that climate change is occuring and that there is no credible evidence to the contrary.
The damage this has done to the Climate Change religion - because really, that's what it has become - is incalculable.  Anyone who continues to insist that the science supports their point of view is making a fool out of himself, even if he refuses to admit it.  As the inimitable Mark Steyn notes:
Hence, the famous "hockey stick" graph purporting to show climate over the past 1000 years, as a continuous, flat, millennium-long bungalow with a skyscraper tacked on for the 20th century. This graph was almost laughably fraudulent, not least because it used a formula that would generate a hockey stick shape no matter what data you input, even completely random, trendless, arbitrary computer-generated data. Yet such is the power of the eco-lobby that this fraud became the centrepiece of UN reports on global warming. If it's happening, why is it necessary to lie about it?

Well, the problem for the Kyoto cultists is that the end of the world's nighness is never quite as nigh as you'd like. Thirty years ago, Lowell Ponte had a huge bestseller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?
Answer: No, it hasn't. Yes, we can. So, when the new ice age predicted in the '70s failed to emerge, the eco-crowd moved on in the '80s to global warming, and then more recently to claiming as evidence of global warming every conceivable meteorological phenomenon: lack of global warmth is evidence of global warming; frost, ice, snow, glaciers, they're all signs of global warming, too. If you live in England, where it's 12C and partly cloudy all summer and 11.5C and overcast all winter, that dramatic climate change is also evidence of global warming.
There are no lines left.  "Well the e-mails are certainly a concern but we know climate change is occuring because the science..."  No, that won't work.  We know the science was faked and altered to reach a predetermined conclusion.  "Well, peer-reviewed evidence..."  No, that won't help either.  We now know that the reason no major studies contradicting climate change were published is because they were ignored or destroyed.  This emperor truly has no clothes.
So what does this have to do with Torah observant Judaism?  Quite a bit, if one thinks about it.  First, Judaism shares one important characteristic with Climate Changism - both are religions (Judaism is also a nationality but let's leave that aside for now).  Anything that torpedoes one religion must act as a warning for others. 
And what is the message?  Put simply, it's a warning against arrogance, against smug self-righteousness that announces: "I'm right and because I'm right, the end justifies the means."
Too often in the news recently we have seen that philosophy applied by many of the most devout members of our community.  Whether it's mistreating illegal workers, stealing money in Ponzi schemes, or trading in human body parts, the common factor has been people who believe they are doing the will of Heaven, so much so that their flagrant violation of norms and laws, both Jewish and secular, is merely incidental.  The ends justify the means.
No, they don't and real Torah Judaism does not countenance such an attitude, no matter how "frum" the current proponents might style themselves as.
Whenever one of our number gets caught committing and crime and appears in the national news, hat and all, that is our Climategate e-mail.
Whenever news breaks about another financial scheme gone wrong, or public disturbances by portions of our community that resemble the tantrums of spoiled children, that is our Climategate e-mail.
Whenever another person leaves the fold because some idiot rabbi turns him off with simplistic answers or a racist attitude, that is our Climategate e-mail.
We, as yirei shomayim, have an obligation to be a moral beacon to the rest of the world.  The Torah is not about circling the wagons or protecting our own no matter what but about justice and truth, God's seal.  If we turn Judaism into a self-centred parochial religion, we have failed God and Torah as much as if we were to go out on a Saturday afternoon drive to the local McDonald's.
Climate Change will stumble on.  Too much money, too many careers have been invested to allow the truth about the weather to bring it down.  But those with intelligence will see its proponents for the fraudsters they are.
And if we are not careful, if we continue to forget what our real priorities are, we will follow that same path.


Devorah said...

Oh my goodness. I'm surprised you've jumped on the bandwagon, too. I have a question for you: Who are the biggest advocates to discredit this "global warning" alert? Who? Major industrial companies. Why? Because when the public perceives that industry is destroying our world, they will pass laws to curtail dangerous waste practices.

Let's pretend for a moment that global warming is not fully substantiated. What would be the worst thing that could happen? We'd have better fuel-efficient cars? We'd impose tight restrictions on pollution from industry? We'd. . um. . rejoice at cooler temps? I'm really not sure what the downside is here.

In addition, these emails were blown out of proportion. Guess what? In every single scientific discovery - EVERY SINGLE ONE, NO EXCEPTIONS - you're going to have a method of collecting data that you avoid, because it leads to confusing/nonspecific results. Believe me, I know. These emails - which out of the thousands, amount to exactly three which are somewhat "controversial" - are simply the discussion between scientists that one method doesn't work as well as a different method. Period.

In one of the emails, which I wonder if you've even bothered to read, one scientist is actually complaining about a fellow scientist that wasn't so careful about his data collection, was published in a terrible journal, and is ruining the integrity of the science as a result. In fact, the editor of said journal was fired over publishing such poor science. Science is an area where there are so many checks and balances, and people have to repeat your data a million times for it to be considered authentic, that i don't really see the major problems here.

Anyway, I'm disappointed that you've joined the gambit to let industrial companies run amok in order to save yourselves a few pennies on the dollar in tax money. To me, Less Pollution = Good. Why is everyone fighting so hard on this?

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

I've not just joined the anti-Climate change movement. I've been active opposing it since I was a kid. Of course, back then it wasn't about supposedly improving the environment but was more honest - it was about communism trying to take America down:

At any rate, if environmentalists want to talk about cleaner air, less asthma, a more healthy food chain, etc. I'm all for it. But a cooler Earth? Lady, I live in Canada! By all means, bring Florida to me!

David said...

"The Torah is not about circling the wagons or protecting our own no matter what but about justice and truth, God's seal. If we turn Judaism into a self-centred parochial religion, we have failed God and Torah as much as if we were to go out on a Saturday afternoon drive to the local McDonald's."

Bravo; well said. Good luck convincing the collection of self-centered parochial rabbis who run this show.

As to the climate business, I have no idea what we're doing to the planet and am more than a bit skeptical about the whole "global warming" thing, but I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that we might do a bit better a job of stewardship over the environment...

Garnel Ironheart said...

Like I said to Devorah, I have no problem with that. I can see the smog as well as anyone. I think that eventually as the extent of the fraud becomes known, there will be a slow shift towards that angle.

Devorah said...

Excuse me, SOCIALISM? Is this the biggest excuse that you could find to denounce scientific evidence? Here's a quote from your article:

"Since we operate an overwhelmingly carbon-based economy, the EPA will be regulating practically everything. No institution that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 a year will fall outside EPA control. This means over a million building complexes, hospitals, plants, schools, businesses and similar enterprises. (The EPA proposes regulating emissions only above 25,000 tons, but it has no such authority.) Not since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service has a federal agency been given more intrusive power over every aspect of economic life. "

OH NOES! People with power! I'm sure they'll just use said power to hit your grandmother with large sticks. Absolute power does corrupt, after all. I'm sure these industrial companies emitting 25,000 TONS of carbon-based waste per year are completely lacking in any power. Poor them. It's so sad to be a large conglomerate these days. Dumping waste has never been more difficult, what with these middle-of-the-night drives to the local water reservoir. I wish I was kidding.

Hey! Guess what! All those carbon emissions are pretty harmful! I bet you didn't see that coming, huh? Perhaps you are unaware of skyrocketing cancer, asthma, autoimmune disease, and autism rates? But I'm sure it never crossed your mind that billions of tons of gas emissions could possibly be harmful to your health or anything. As for me, I play in my garage for fun, with the car running. I find that my cheeks are quite healthily pink after such an enjoyable and invigorating activity.

Now that we've done away with pesky health problems, let's get to the real crux of the matter here: You don't want to pay more in taxes. I hear you. On one hand, there's the health of you and all your family. On the other, there's the $100 a year it might cost you to have cleaner air. It's a tough decision.

Garnel Ironheart said...

> you are unaware of skyrocketing cancer, asthma, autoimmune disease, and autism rates?

Fine, campaign on that. Non-existent ice melting in the Arctic and non-rising sea levels don't get my interest.

And it won't be $100 a year for clean air. $1000 won't do it. If government ever succeeds in anything, it's more by chance than anything else. Encouraging private industry will be far more successful.

David said...

Global warming in a nutshell:


Off the Derech said...

I'll bet Garnel has no problem with our dumping of toxic waste in third-world countries, either.

David said...

Heck, I'll bet Garnel takes time off from work just to scoop up some toxic waste, fly to third world countries, and dump it, pausing only to kick one of those little children with the swollen bellies and soulful eyes. Isn't that right, Garnel?

OTD-- seriously, let it go, man.

Garnel Ironheart said...

> Isn't that right, Garnel?

Quite frequently actually. I was away doing just that lask week which is why there has been a dearth of posts lately.