Friday, July 31, 2009

Sahara Desert Turning Gangrene-Green: Global Warming Blamed

This just in from the National Geographic News (paraphrased by the Ball Bounces for clarity) [[note: this article is rated "PG"]]:

In yet another blow to AGW Deniers, evidence is now in that the Sahara Desert, which is supposed to be brown, is now turning a sickly gangrenous green -- and AGW Global Warming is blamed.

If this alarming trend continues, the formerly, usually, and properly, brown Sahara desert could turn into a green, vegetation-rich, farmable region.

Western leaders have reacted with alarm, and vowed to renew their efforts to save Africa from gangrenification and reset the world's temperature to the established ideal, circa 1850. World governance may be necessary.

National Geographic mentions the alarming possibility of AGW turning the Sahara into a (Parental Guidance Advised) "lush savanna" which is apparently what it was sometime well prior to 1850 I.E. (Ideal Era).

In further news, scientists reported that powerful global warming models predict that the area is expected to either become wetter or drier: "Half the models follow a wetter trend, and half a drier trend."

Either way, the cause will be global warming.

"This way" one scientist reportedly said, "we have a virtually 100% chance of being right!".

If you feel the need to refer to the actual article, it may be found here.

And that's the way the gangrenously green and lushly vegetated Ball bounces.

Weather vs. Climate

This, from 2007:

"This March was the world's warmest ever on record ... adding to mounting concerns about climate change.

In the US, however, it was weather as usual, averaging 42 degrees—just .4 degrees below the 20th-century average."

"If it's hot, it's global warming, if it's not, it's weather".

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Global Warming Almost Kills Students

This just in from the Jakarta Globe:

"Dozens of elementary school students in Cirebon, West Java were injured after the ceiling of their classroom collapsed on Wednesday."

"School headmaster Sukhemi blamed the contractor who built the school, and said the builder should take responsibility for the accident."

"Dedi Windiagiri, the head of the Cirebon school board, denied that the contractor was to blame. Climate change, he said, was the true cause of the accident."

Note: No scientists were hurt in the posting of this blog.

We now resume regular programming...

Global Warming Up A Tree

Yosemitree, that is.

"Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday there are fewer large-diameter trees growing in Yosemite National Park than in years past, most likely because of climate change."

Good first sentence. Scientists say. Climate change the most likely perp.

"Warmer temperatures... contribute to tree mortality." Less water, more fungi, etc. etc.

Got it. Next?

"Warmer temperatures also can increase the severity of wildfires, which can kill off trees, he said."

So global warming is double-whammy bad news. It's a tree-killer. Got it? OK. Let's move on. Next sentence:

"Another factor in the decline may be that parts of Yosemite haven't experienced wildfires for 100 years."

Screech. Stop. Whaaat? Global warming is killing off trees because it increases the severity of wildfires; another factor is Yosemite hasn't had a decent wildfire in 100 years?!

So, which is it? Global warming or the lack of a decent fire-cull which clears away underbrush and smaller trees allowing the big-guys to flourish?


And that's the way the Ponderosa pine cone bounces.

Man, I love those ponderosa pines. Yosemite, Tahoe, the Sierras... it's got me California Dreamin'.

Resisting Climate Hysteria: A Refutation

I'm passing on an article suggested to me by Jerome "Doom-Buster" Bastien.

It's written by
Richard S. Lindzen -- an AGW DENIER.

It's called "Resisting Climate Hysteria". To which I say, "No! We shall not resist climate hysteria!".

It's easily refuted, and, even though I'm just a new AGW Believer, I had no trouble doing so.

First of all, it's published by something called Quadrant Online. Never heard of it. And, never trust anything beginning with the letter "Q". Trust me.

Secondly, it's from Australia. Hello!

Here's just some of the whoppers that supposedly pass for argument among the Deniers:

"This further implies that all models predicting significant warming are greatly overestimating warming."

Hah! The models provide estimates. Over-estimating means, by definition, estimating over the estimate. So for the estimate to be an over-estimate, it would have to be something greater than itself and thus violate the laws of logic and physics. Are you saying that physicians are liars???!!!

"This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred and this will not change in the future."

Disasters will continue to occur unless you change your light bulbs. We've got David Suzuki's word on this one. And, I've seen a picture of him holding a light bulb, and, read this slowly, the light-bulb was glowing!!!

"Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience."

Ah. Now the truth comes out. This guy is in favour of continued CO2-spitting wealth-creation and the generation of wealth by third-world countries. What further proof do we need that this guy is an anti-social, earth-hating, wealth-creationist?! And notice that last word very carefully. Creationist!

"The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear."

And justified. Would I spend 4X as much to buy organic food if it weren't?!!!

"CO2 is a product of breathing itself".

And breathing generates hot air. And all this hot air must be stopped!!!

"ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto".

Yes, and when Kyoto wasn't implemented, look what happened to ENRON! Do you want this to happen to other companies? Do you want General Motors to go bankrupt? Is THAT what you want??!!

"It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities."

He's only doing it to save the planet.

"the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance)".

If we get our way, it will be the-world-formerly-known-as-developing. They're much happier without electricity. Believe me, electricity only leads to things like an electricity bill -- and who needs that?!

And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.

Oh, so now you oppose the welfare of some poor soul's psychic? Have you no shame?!

"the need to courageously resist hysteria is clear."

There is no hysteria. The earth has a fever, the planet is on fire, and we have 5-10 years to save it or we are doomed. That's all we are saying.

And remember -- it's not hysteria if it's true.

"Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology"

Massacheusetts Institute of Technology -- yeah, right. It's not like it's M.I.T. or something.

And, wasn't Alfred P. Sloan the guy in Mad Magazine?


Read the article.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm A (Global Warming) Believer

3,000 Record Low Temperatures Set This July Across USA.

THREE THOUSAND chances to make a cheap dig at global warming, but I'm not gonna do it. Why? Because I now know that weather has nothing to do with climate and only a scientific ignoramus would come out with trashy, low-rent slogans like, "If it's hot, it's global warming; if it's cold, it's weather". So, I'm not gonna do it. Others might. Not me.

Why not?

Well, first, because this is a classy site.

And second, because I know that if, next summer, there are 3,000 record highs, the A-G Double-Uites are going to resist the temptation of making a connection between a hot summer and global warming, and, if some ignoramus from the MSM attempts to make such a connection, the AGWers are gonna be all over him.

You think I'm kidding? Let me illustrate. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, there's a whopping hurricane next year. I mean a Katrina of a hurricane. Do you think the AGWers would try to link this to AGW, or worse, make a video and try to profit from it? Of Course Not! Or, in the lingo of global warmers, "hockey sticks!".

And that's why I'm converting to the AGW camp.

Oh sure, skeptics are gonna ask, "Where's all this cold coming from when the earth has a fever and the planet's on fire?"

Obviously, all the extra heat in the atmosphere is displacing the cold and it has to go somewhere. Duh!

In fact, the colder it gets, the scarier global warming gets.

Hey -- I used global warming and scary in a sentence -- I AM a believer!

Cue the music (with apologees to the Monkees):

I thought planet Gore was just a fairy tale
Meant for someone else but not for me
Gore was out to get me
That's the way it seemed
"Inconvenient Truth" was just a dream.

Then I saw the slides, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
Ditch the gloves, I'm a believer!
Earth's got a fever, man, we're fried!

Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo-doo

I thought climate change was just a Western thing,
Made to make us all give up our cars
What's the use in tryin? (doo-doo-doo-doo)
All you get is pain (doo-doo-doo-doo)
Change your bulbs but climate stays the same --

Then I saw the slides, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
Ditch those gloves, I'm a believer!
Earth's got a fever, man, we're fried.

(we're in deep)
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo-doo

And that's the way the warming-up-to-global-warming Ball bounces.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Purpose of Darwinian Evolution

I'm moving a discussion I've been having with Joe Agnost up to a fresh post, so others can listen in and participate if you like.

Ball: "Evolution as conceived by darwinists is a mindless, directionless, purposeless process..."

Joe A: It isn't "purposeless" - it has a very strong purpose: SURVIVAL (and, of course, propagating one's genes). How do you keep forgetting this?!

* * *


We keep talking at cross-purposes. I'm going to try to explain my POV more thoroughly.

1. The atheist/darwinian believes there is no God, and, therefore, no Creator. Therefore, the universe is uncreated, undesigned, and utterly devoid of purpose from an intelligent agent, (and most certainly without "intelligent design").

It just "is". Dead. Lifeless. Mindless. Undirected.

2. Now, my understanding of the word "purpose" is that it always entails intent, and entails intelligence, and, purpose in, almost every case, results in design of some sort. "My purpose in writing...", "the purpose of this paper...", etc. About the only exception to the design principle I can think of would be abstract art, where the "purpose" might be to show the disorder and meaningless of life, where there is a nihilistic intent (and this activity is driven by 20th cc. atheistic existentialism, BTW).

Let's look at some dictionary defs of "purpose" and see if I'm on the right track:


1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
3. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal:
4. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.
5. Determination; resolution.

I think I'm on the right track so far.

In a darwinian/atheistic universe, there is no "reason" for the universe (and all that's in it, all subsets of it); there was no intended or desired result in its cause (if it has one), no end, no aim, no goal, no object towards which it is striving or for which the universe (and everything in it) exists, no result or effect intended or desired, and, since there is no conscious, intelligent being behind the universe, no determination or resolution.

It just "is".

3. Now, what can be said of the universe as a whole can be said of darwinian evolution, which is a mere subset of it. It's a natural process, and, like all natural processes in an atheistic universe, without purpose or intent.

At best, the most you can say about it is it just "is".

Development of species may be a result, but it is not the result of any purpose or intent. The continuance of a species may be a result, but it a result with no purpose behind it. Likewise, lungs may deliver oxygen to a body, but there is no purpose to lungs. The heart, may pump blood, but it has no purpose. The liver may cleanse the blood, but there is no purpose to the liver. Blood may get nutrients to where they need to go, but there is no purpose to blood. Eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and hands may provide sensory information, but there is no purpose to eyes, ears, noses, mouths or hands. Coagulation may stop bleeding, and we're all glad it does, but there's no purpose to coagulation, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

So, just like the atheist may admit, "the universe sure looks designed, but, by gosh, it isn't", the consistent atheist should also admit, "it sure looks like evolution has a purpose, but it doesn't".

Because it can't.

There can be no purpose where there is no intent. There can be no intent where there is no intelligent being. And the atheist starting point is that there is no intelligent being, in spite of the evidence, or at least, appearance, of design and purpose.

Therefore, the very expression "The purpose of darwinian evolution" is a contradiction in terms. It is looking for purpose where there none because there can be none. And there can be none because the atheist does not have a sufficient cause for purpose to exist.

4. Taking this reasoning further:

If you equate darwinian thinking with science (as you, Joe Agnost do), and indeed with reality itself, then it is also wrong to think in terms of a heart that is functioning properly vs. improperly, or a liver that is functioning as "as it should" vs. in an unintended manner, or eyes that are functioning "as designed" vs. not, or a mind that is functioning normally vs. abnormally, as in "abnormal psychology".

Why? Because --

Since there is no purpose to any of these things -- the lungs, the heart, the liver, the brain -- they cannot be functioning properly or improperly. There cannot be proper/improper, normal/abnormal when there is no purpose for a thing and no actual design of it -- there is no criteria to judge it by. And, since by most darwinian's insistence there is no actual design, only the appearance of design, you cannot say that the heart, lung, liver etc. is not functioning as intended or designed or according to its purpose -- because none of these things exist.

The same, by extension, may be said of cells. The cell is a world of complexity and apparent functional purpose and apparent design. But, according to darwinian lights, it can be complex, but it cannot have purpose or be designed (for reasons already argued). Therefore, when a cell mutates and becomes cancerous, this cannot be viewed as improper, abnormal, wrong, or bad.

It "just is".

Now, this may work in theory, but I defy an atheist to admit this for practical purposes. When you find out you have an, ahem, enlarged heart, most atheists are going to think there's something abnormal about this, something wrong about and that the heart is not working as it is supposed to work, that it is not working as intended, as designed, etc. But, when an atheist strays into the realm of purpose, and proper intended function, it is no different than admitting design -- something that the atheist knows he must not and cannot do.

One of the overarching points I have been making on this blog is that atheism may "work" in theory, but it is impossible to live out consistently in practice in the real world.

To be consistent, the atheist should speak of the appearance of purpose, the appearance of normal vs. abnormal function, condition, etc., just like he has trained himself to do when it comes to design.

But when it comes to living life, we are forced to think, decide, and act in terms of believing that there is purpose and design to our bodies, our minds, etc.

The darwinian tries to, effectively, have it both ways.

But, attributing purpose, intent, apparent creative ability, design, normality, etc. to a mindless, undirected, unconscious universe is either anthropomorphizing or deifying the universe -- take your pick. In either case, it is using the language of intelligence, will, purpose and design -- and that's "cheating".

5. Perhaps, you could say, that when a darwinist takes about the "purpose of evolution", he is speaking scientifically when using the term evolution, but speaking metaphorically when speaking of purpose. Fine. If so, you should say so. And recognize that you are forced to use the language of intelligence and intent when talking about biological processes.

So, my advice would be to banish purpose from your vocab when discussing evolution. Talk, at best, about "outcomes", but not purpose. To reiterate, just like there is no purpose whatsoever for the universe as a whole, there is no purpose to darwinian evolution and the marvelous results this process supposedly produced -- there can't be.

6. A final "footnote": When a darwinian ascribes purpose to evolution, he is straying dangerously close to the notion of transcendence, and transcendence brings you closer to a theistic worldview. The argument from transcendence is made by theists, and is one of the better ones, IMO.

7. Now, Joe, you may disagree with me. And that's fine. But now when I say that evolution has no purpose, I hope you at least understand what I am saying and why I am saying it. And why, for your sake as a committed atheist, you should whole-heartedly agree with me.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

$79 Billion in Monopsony Money

The Science and Public Policy Institute -- an institution of questionable origins and funding -- has dipped its toe in the warming waters of AGW public opinion and published an article challenging the Big AGW consensus -- "Government monopsony distorts climate science, says SPPI" screams the TransWorldNews headline reporting of the article.

Among other whoppers, they allege,

* the US Government has spent more than $79 billion on global warming studies, tax-breaks, foreign aid, etc. etc. since 1989 (that's a lot of monopsony money!)

* Carbon trading (i.e., "Indulgences") reached $126 billion in 2008.

* Global warming climate science is funded by Big Government, whilst audits of the ensuing science are done by unpaid volunteers (to which I say, "hockey sticks!").

OK, they didn't actually use the word whilst, but I'm off to the U.K. next week and I have to get up to speed, and, yes, I'm staying for roughly a fortnight.

I've checked the SPPI website, and they look like an anti-AGW Exxon shill site to me.

As a young but enthusiastic convert to the AGW cause, I believe the writer of the article, Joanne Nova, should be thrown in jail and the SPPI forceably disbanded. (This to help establish my AGW creds.) "Civil disobedience if necessary, but not necessarily civil disobedience" is my new motto.

And, remember, carbon credits, world governance by cloned Al Gores (including French versions -- yikes!), and the massive redistribution of wealth from producing nations to the disfunctional, corrupt, and wasteful, is AGT -- A Good Thing -- even if the science is wrong!

And that's the way the warming-up-to-global-warming Ball bounces.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cherry-Pick of the Day: DIY AGW Headline Generator

First, pick your headline:

Fish are shrinking in response to global warming
Fish are bloating in response to global warming
Fish are shrinking in response to climate change (i.e., when it's cold instead of hot)
Fish are bloating in response to climate change

Then, cue the picture of a single, solitary, pint-sized fish. OK, maybe two fish. One for the polar bear.

You too can become an AGW media propaganda alarmist!

Now let's visit the actual article (found here)

First sentence -- "Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming"

Exegesis: Fish are growing half as big, smaller species are taking over, bigger species are being wiped out. Notice that there is no qualifier to the statement attributing this to global warming.

Unspoken message: The globe is warming, the natural equilibrium is being upset, the ideal temperatures we enjoyed in 1850 are now long-gone, and it's all our fault.

Second sentence -- "It's huge," said study author Martin Daufresne...."
Exegesis: This research of ours is really, really significant. This is not just big, this is very big. Vewy, vewy big. It's Huge!
Unspoken message: The media should pay gobs of attention to this and our organization should get lots more funding.

Further on: "A similar shrinking effect was recently documented in Scottish sheep [50%?] and Daufresne said it is possible that global warming could have "a significant impact on organisms in general."
Exegesis: Because you drive a car, humans will soon shrink to half their size, throwing the garment industry into chaos.
Unspoken message: Get a new wardrobe, and downsize your auto NOW (because soon you won't be able to see over the dash)!

By now the average reader is probably reeling with shock, unable to continue. What's the point of going on -- "I'm ruining the planet -- let me die, now!" However, for those who soldier on...

Way, way down: "While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries..."

Exegesis: Screech. Stop. Huh? You mean they're throwing into the mix fish getting smaller because the big ones have all been caught, and this wasn't mentioned sooner? And all the time I thought the cod caught off PEI were getting smaller due to over-fishing. Now I find out it's all because Al Gore has a mansion and a house-boat?
Unspoken message: Blast you, Al Gore, you and your massive carbon foot-print!

Final excerpt: "While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries studied, it "cannot be considered as the unique trigger"....

Exegesis: "It can't all be blamed on commercial and recreational fishing, so we're going to blame it all on global warming instead and hope nobody reads to the end of the article.

* * *

I remember the first time we drove through Indiana. To this Ontario boy, the corn stalks were huge, I mean huge. In Ontario, they grow to about your chest. (In PEI, it's your waist, if that). In Indiana, the air was hot and lush, and the corn stalks were growing well over six feet high. So, yes, global warming will affect the size of species. Corn will grow high, alarmingly high! This is huge!

I also remember the first time we spent time in Oklahoma. A native casually mentioned the second or third growing season for a crop. I asked what they were talking about. The growing season is so long in Oklahoma, you can grow two, three, or four rounds of a vegetable. In Ontario, you have a growing season. Period. And things grow only so big, and then stop.

So, yes, global warming will affect the size of species and growing seasons as well.

And it's not all bad -- but that won't produce a screaming headline.

And it's not like it's never happened before -- but that won't have the desired effect either.

And I wonder, just wonder, if there were no anthropogenic effect assumed; if UN experts and environmentalists were insisting instead that this was a natural cycle, would there be the same degree of alarmism -- would they be insisting that the peril was so great that the West must marshall its resources to beat climate change -- or would they instead be insisting, "this is nature running its course, we should adapt to it, and it would be wrong to interfere with the natural rhythms and cycles of the planet just to save some lush waterfront properties in New York and London"?

Just asking.

And that's the way the over-fished Ball bounces.

PS -- by the way, if you really believe the alarmist message, buy properties a block in from the present shoreline. Boy are your waterfront neighbors now ever going to be surprised when it's you what's got the waterfront lot!

This is big. This is huge!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Climate Skepticism 101: “we can't think of anything else”

Global Warming. Be worried. Be very worried. Be vewy, vewy worried. It's damaging the planet at an, ahem, alarming rate. Cue the polar bear. It affects your kids, and your kids' kids (if they're still irresponsible enough to have any). Earth is at the tipping point (we've got 5, 10, 15 -- pick one -- years before it will be too late). You can save the world or destroy it.

Time said we should reduce. Cut-back. As a result, I declined to renew my Time magazine subscription. I did this to save the planet. Did they thank me? They did not.

Am I an anthro-global warming, er, climate change skeptic? Yes, I am.

Read this NP article by Jerome Bastien to better understand the point of view of an AGW skeptic.

Some key points:

"the enormous scale of the sacrifices we have been asked to make

"evidence of warming is not evidence of anthropogenic warming

"there is no empirical evidence to support the proposition that human-produced CO2 will cause catastrophic warming" (this raises the issue of Newtonian vs. Einsteinian approaches to science)

"CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but as we add CO2 to the atmosphere, the amount of additional heat it absorbs follows a logarithmic curve. In other words, if CO2 levels were to double, the heat absorbed by CO2 would increase but it would not double. Furthermore, CO2 can only absorb infrared radiation at certain wavelengths, and these wavelengths are already almost fully absorbed."

I view this last point as essential to the issue, especially the issue of upending western world economies to re-set the thermostat. It's like a billiard table. Once your shot is blocked, it doesn't matter how many additional balls get in your way. A blocked shot is a blocked shot. At some point the thin C02 band is saturated, and pumping additional C02 into the atmosphere will have no incremental effect. We are, apparently, close to that point now. I wonder how many people who have already bought into the popular alarmist message of pending incremental catastrophe are aware of this. Something to think of before you go aborting your baby to save the earth.

"the earth is warming and has been since before humans began polluting our atmosphere

"In a system as complex as earth’s climate, there are any number of reasons why the earth may be warming or cooling; until the link between CO2 and rising temperatures is proven, we must be open to other possibilities. And this link has not yet been proven"

From the IPCC’s own Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), in section 2.4 titled “Attribution of climate change”: "The observed patterns of warming, including greater warming over land than over the ocean, and their changes over time, are simulated only by models that include anthropogenic forcing."

The money-quote:

"If you’re having a hard time deciphering what they mean, let me help. The above is weasel-speak for “we can't think of anything else”.

"in order to model the climate accurately we would need to understand the climate system almost perfectly, which we do not.

"computer models are not evidence" (this is the Newtonian vs. Einsteinian conflict)

And then, the author throws down a scientific gauntlet which AGW believers should be able to refute. Let's see what they make of this:

* the theory predicts that there should be a measurable hotspot in the upper troposphere.

* no hotspot has been found.

* In a less politicized field, this would have been the end of it.

The full article may be found at:

Maybe we can crank-down the name-calling and mindless ad hominems.

The Mother of All Cherries

AGW alarmism vs. skepticism is not about science vs. non-science; or science vs. religion; it is about sound science vs. unsound science. It is about what definite conclusions (and far-reaching actions) are warranted by the data vs. unwarranted.

It is also very much about the ideological barnacles that have attached themselves to the ship of science -- the "west is bad and must be punished", and "humans are a virus" assumptions that are now part of the AGW package that is shipped to schools and consumed by impressionable minds daily.

And a lot of ancillary things -- like the popular use of metaphor such as "the earth has a fever" and "the planet is on fire" to advance the AGW cause -- which is one reason I "cherry-pick" weather events to poke fun at the AGW messengers -- especially when events don't go according to script. But, unlike AGW alarmists, I use the cherry-picked weather events for satirical, as opposed to scientific, or pecuniary (hello Al Gore), purposes. This flies over the heads of AGW fundamentalists -- even when I point out this is what I am doing they still go nuts. (While their side, of course, continues to cherry-pick weather events when it suits them -- e.g., the iconic image of the stranded polar bear, and Katrina, the mother-of-all-cherries).

It's also about the social ramifications; not just the up-ending of western economies that is being advocated and the vast socialist enterprise (I use the word lightly) of redistributing earned wealth to disfunctional economies and governments, it's also about the fact of AGW alarmists advocating urgent measures such as civil disobedience and throwing ideological enemies in jail for the crime of disbelieving. Am I exaggerating? I am not.

And, of course, the fact that scientists that don't get on board the AGW ship are censured and lose funding, while those who are on board are awarded millions, resulting in skewed, built-in incentives to crank the alarmist message ever higher in the darwinian quest for continued funding -- an inconvenient truth, I'm sure.

And a generally compliant media because "scientists have spoken" and Madonna and Sir Richard are on-board.

And the AGW fundamentalist who thinks an important part of the solution is keeping African communities without electricity because, trust me, they're better off and happier without it. This reminds me of the, what, is it 20 or 30 million Africans who have died because western environmentalists demanded the withdrawal of the use of DDT as a malaria prophylactic. 20 or 30 million dead as a result of western environmentalist activism -- an inconvenient truth -- especially if you're one of Africans affected. Environmentalists had all the supposed science behind them but were still dead wrong on their last major cause, but they're really, really sure this time -- they've got computer models to prove it.

And what I regard as the sheer and utter hubris of mankind thinking that he alone is the cause of climate change and that he has the power to control the climate.

And the dangerous sub-text to all of this: world governance controlling populations and individuals in the name of urgent necessity.

And the tendency of AGW fundamentalists to see this as a black-and-white issue without nuance, subtlety, or doubt. Here's the way some of their thinking apparently goes. "Our side may be cherry-picking weather events, but, the science is in, and this may help persuade some people, so it's for a good cause", and, "the science may in fact turn out to be wrong, but, the actions we're proposing are good, so in the end, it doesn't matter if the science turns out to be wrong." That last one is not an invention of mine -- it was expressed by a high-placed U.S. government official.

So, we've got a science-driven ideology that no longer depends on the science for its continued existence and promulgation. Is this something that should be uncritically embraced? I think not. Should those who question it be denounced and threatened with imprisonment? I think not. Should entities that stand in the way of AGW enthusiasts face acts of civil disobedience and sabotage? Call me old-fashioned, I think not.

Am I skeptic? Yes, I am.

And that's the way the cherry-picking Ball bounces.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are Prince Edward Islanders Big Fat Liars?

A poster to this site suggests that somebody lied when it comes to reporting frost in July on Prince Edward Island.

Here's the report from the CBC:

"Temperatures dropped to a record low in Prince Edward Island overnight Tuesday, with reports of frost throughout the province."

Throughout the province. So, it wasn't just somebody -- it was Islanders in general who lied.

Here's how the Charlottetown Guardian reported it:

"There are reports that frost occurred overnight in low-lying areas of P.E.I., a weather event virtually unheard of for July 8.
Some residents said they had to scrap frost off windshields, while some monitoring stations had temperatures hovering close to 2 C."

The temperature dropped to an official 3.8 C early this morning at the Charlottetown airport, a record low temperature for the date. The previous record was 5.1 C set in 2005."

Record lows set in 2009 and 2005. Hmm...

"The high temperature Tuesday was only 14.7C. The average high for date is 22.7 while the average low is 13.2 C."

High of the day just above the average low. Hmm...

"Highest Temperature (1943-2008) 31.1°C 1952
Lowest Temperature (1943-2008) 5.1°C 2005"

Highest recorded temperature 1952, lowest 2005. Hmmm.

Maybe not all Islanders are liars. Maybe only those living in rural, low-lying areas not immediately adjacent to official weather-monitoring devices.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

When does frost form?

Monday, July 13, 2009

250 Children Die in Peru

This just in from the BBC: Close to 250 children under the age of five have died due to cold weather in Peru. This year freezing temperatures arrived almost three months earlier than usual. Experts blame climate change.

Meanwhile, world leaders, lead by Obama-the-Great and including our Go-With-The-Flow Canadian leader Stephen Harper, are desperately trying to put the brakes on a warming planet -- a supposed problem, supposedly caused by man-made factors, that will supposedly cause massive net harm (as opposed to net good) as predicted by supposedly accurate software algorithms designed and fed by supposedly neutral government-funded AGW believers. The goal: re-set world temperatures to something at least resembling the idyllic steady-state of the year 1850 CE and keep it there forever.

Ah, yes -- man's collective hand on the thermostat of the world, regulating the earth's climate and controlling its temperatures. Hubris of biblical proportions. Babel redux. Shades of Revelation and world rule.

The proposed solution to reach this goal entails a little thing called "world governance" coupled with a massive marxian redistribution of wealth from successful capitalistic countries to the dysfunctional poorer countries of the planet. This has been touted by a US global warming advocate as a "good thing" even if the science on global warming proves to be wrong. As if funds have ever been re-distributed efficiently and effectively from one first-world government to a third-world government. I see scores of politically-connected African functionaries tooling about in their late-model diesel-guzzling SUVs while the hungry peasants stare.

A more tangible act would be to send the kids blankets.

And that's the way the shivering-in-July Ball bounces.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

We Are The World

Pardon me if my keying appears choppy -- we had a frost-warning here on Prince Edward Island last night.

The G8 are at it again. They've drawn a line in the sand. The earth's temperature shall rise "this much" and no more.

As U.K. Gordon put it: “The world has now agreed that the scientific evidence on climate change is compelling”.

"The world" has agreed?

Stop the world, I want to get off.

And that's the way the unfashionably skeptical Ball bounces.

Meanwhile, this just in from the Charlottetown Guardian: "It was the coldest night ever recorded for July 8, but farmers assessing the damage Wednesday say they escaped the brunt of frost damage."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

What About Leviticus?

A. From Last Chance To See:

"I really get [annoyed] at people who quote scripture at me, because most of these "discussions" follow the following scheme:

Random person: "--A-- is true because of --random passage from the bible X--."
Me: "But --random passage from the bible Y-- completely contradicts that."
Random person: "Atheists don't understand --passage Y--/the bible/christianity."

So, my question to you would be this:
What about all the wrong, barbaric, immoral, nonsensical, contradictory stuff in the bible? You know what I'm talking about.
Leviticus especially is very explicit, literal and full of such things. How exactly can I interpret that any other than barbaric/immoral/etc.?

And why is it somehow a valid argument to quote the nice things from the bible in support of somethings, but not the bad stuff to disprove that claim?

Mind you, I think all this mindless quoting, whether by me or them, doesn't constitute any kind of valid argument at all, I just get peeved at their constant insistence that I am somehow misrepresenting what the bible says."

B. Scary Fundamentalist Weighs In:

"To respond to your question in a few sentences, the Old Testament needs to be read in light of the fulfillment of the Law in New Testament. The kingdom of God was transformed from a physical nation of Israel (perishable) into a spiritual nation of believers (imperishable) Food laws, for example, are translated into a spiritual context in Mark 7:14-23.

C. Ball Bounces.

The behaviour you complain of is known as "proof-texting", and the subject, I believe, would be, ahem, "Bible Difficulties". A few general observations:

1. The Bible is viewed as a progressive revelation. What is tolerated or even commissioned may be abrogated down the road.

2. In the light of this, as SF points out, the Old Testament (OT) is interpreted in the light of the New Testament (NT).

3. Christ specifically said that the OT was about him. Christians therefore view Christ as the interpretative key to the entire Bible. Christ raised the standard for expected human conduct to a higher level. He showed less tolerance than Moses for, e.g., divorce. Even being angry at someone constitutes you a murderer in Christ's eyes, and motives of the heart count as much if not more than actions.

4. The OT covenant was a theocracy -- a nation of believers. So, the laws covered everything from religious worship to how to treat your mule to how to resolve property disputes. They were offered in a cultural context, and one interpretive key is to consider what the laws of surrounding nations looked like.

As a theocracy, it was a place where Yahweh, the Holy One, sought to dwell. Much of the OT is about the magnitude of the difficulty of a holy deity dwelling among sinful human beings. Much of the laws, severe as they sound to us, are saying as much about God's holiness and what his holiness demands as they are about the sinfulness of certain behaviours. In fact, from Genesis 3 to the end of Revelation, the book is all about effect reconciliation between a holy God who cannot compromise his holiness and sinful man who cannot possibly live up to God's holy standards. But, as you might like to say, goddidit!

5. God, as the author, giver, and sustainer of life, has, unlike his creatures, the reserved right to take life away. He may commission instruments both natural (the flood) and human, (Israel or other nations) to effect this. God, has the moral right and indeed obligation to act as the Judge of the universe. This may entail dreadful and fearful punishments.

God has a moral obligation to act as the world's Judge, but has no corresponding obligation to act as its Saviour. It is indeed good news that God freely loved this rebellious world and offered his Son as a way of making peace, while continuing to honor man's free will to either accept or reject his offer.

6. We stand today on 2,000 years of Christian history, and 4,000 or 5,000 years of Judeo-Christian revelation. What may appear wrong, or distasteful, or even monstrous to us today may appear so precisely because of the positive leavening effect of Christian revelation -- that people have value, have rights, deserve to be treated a certain way, etc. It is not at all certain that, had there been no Christianity, that people would have this understanding or behave as decently as they generally do today.

Having said that, there are certainly troublesome aspects of Leviticus, and if you want to provide specific examples, I will do my best to comment on them.

America, The Beautiful!

Oh beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law...

This patriotic song is really a hymn, and this hymn is really a prayer. The last two lines of this under-utilized verse are especially relevant. Can anyone doubt that America breathed prayer, then and even still -- though prayer is too often overcrowded on the airwaves with cynicism towards all things godly and religious?

For an excellent article on America, The Beautiful, wander over to Mark Steyn at

Happy Fourth of July, and, as another song puts it, "God bless America".

And that's the way the neighbour-to-the-North Ball bounces.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"