Rational Capitalist on Facebook

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Environmental "Crisis" is an Epistemological Crisis

Religious Leaders Urge Action on Warming

Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are urging President George W. Bush and Congress to take action against global warming, declaring that the changing climate is a "moral and spiritual issue."

Isn't it interesting that when it comes to scientific theories such as evolution, religionists tell us that we can not trust science. When it comes to the age of the earth, the origin of the universe, or the first law of thermodynamics (energy can not be created or destroyed) we are told that we can not trust science. However, when a few scientists tell us that they can predict the temperature of a planet for the next 100 years suddenly and miraculously science has the utmost validity.

Meanwhile, as the next link demonstrates - scientists are slowly seeing the light (the quotes sound like former cult members being deprogrammed in a group therapy session)

Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics

Allegre, who was one of the first scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years ago, now says the cause of climate change is "unknown" and accused the “prophets of doom of global warming” of being motivated by money, noting that "the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!"

Wiskel also said that global warming has gone "from a science to a religion” and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism...

"Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. In fact, there is much more than meets the eye,”

When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause. I am now skeptical,” Evans wrote in an April 30, 2007 blog. “But after 2000 the evidence for carbon emissions gradually got weaker -- better temperature data for the last century, more detailed ice core data, then laboratory evidence that cosmic rays precipitate low clouds,” Evans wrote. “As Lord Keynes famously said, ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’” he added.

The reason why I believe this issue is so important is not only because of the potential impact of environmentalist regulations on the economy or that I feel the need to expose the falsehoods and hypocrisy of those forecasting an environmental "crisis". This issue is important because it represents an extreme worsening of an ongoing epistemological crisis.

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, i.e., the philosophy of "how do you know". Throughout human history, a culture's fundamental answer to the question of "how do you know" is a life or death matter upon which civilization itself rests.

For example, say you were to follow Aristotle and the best of the Greek philosophers and answer that man is capable of understanding the world and that knowledge is acquired through a process of deductive and inductive logic applied to observation. As a consequence, you will get scientific progress, technology, civilization, and political freedom (as freedom is demanded as a pre-condition for reasoning beings to survive and prosper.) You will get life affirming art in the form of grand sculpture, literature, poetry and music. In short, the acceptance and utilization of reason begets human happiness on a massive scale.

On the other hand, if you were to follow the Platonic tradition and take its premises seriously (reality is an imperfect reflection of ideal forms which can only be grasped by philosopher "kings") you end up with a secular version of anti-reason (post modernism and subjectivism) or the religious version (fundamentalism and intrinsicism). If you go the modern version you get today's abyss of post modern nihlism and socialist dictatorship. If you go the religious direction you get bishops and church authorities as the arbiters of orthodox "truth" as revealed to them by God or scripture. Since there is no rational basis upon which to base such claims, its proponents must enforce their beliefs by physical force, e.g., the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Ayatollah, the Taliban, etc.

In "Closing of the Western Mind" author Charles Freeman discusses the rise of Christianity and the beginning of the Dark Ages:

Intellectual self-confidence and curiosity, which lay at the heart of Greek achievement, were recast as the dreaded sin of pride. Faith and obedience to the institutional authority of the church were more highly rated than the use of reasoned thought. The inevitable result was intellectual stagnation.

In short, reason gets you Ancient Greece, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson. Anti-reason gets you the Dark Ages, Al Quaeda and Michael Moore.

So the above links are a barometer of the epistemological crisis. As expected, Religion continues on unabashed - seizing on anything however irrational or unfounded which matches its agenda of human sacrifice to God and now God's "creation" in hopes of making Him happy enough to give a good afterlife. The Left will continue to push its pagan religious agenda as embodied by Environmentalism. This agenda is really the same agenda as the old Left and its socialist sympathizers, namely the destruction of capitalism and industrial civilization. If you think this is bleak Freeman notes:

The last recorded astronomical observation in the ancient Greek world was one by the Athenian philosopher Proclus in AD 475, nearly 1,100 years after the prediction of an eclipse by Thales in 585 bc, which traditionally marks the beginning of Greek science. It would be over 1,000 years -with the publication of Copernicus' De revolutionibus in 1543 - before these studies began to move forward again.

If you don't believe philosophy is important in determining the fate of civilization across thousands of years read the above quote again. The hope as evidenced by the scientists linked above is that some remant of reason and rationality still exists among honest scientists and that civilization will not disappear again for a thousand years or more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I'm Right - Again

Here is a round up of some recent news that I found interesting.


Recall my claim that Environmentalism is a pagan religious movement with many similarities to Christianity and other organized religions. I also claimed that Al Gore is the Environmentalist Apostle Paul in that he is not an originator (since he is not original nor very smart) but an important and notable emissary. His book has now apparently attained Gospel status.
Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won't find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' former Vice President Al Gore's book about global warming.

Recall that I had posted links to articles related to the theory that the SUN may have something to do with warmer climates including evidence that Mars is warming in a way that is correlated to so-called warming on Earth. Here are three links related to this and to the shocking idea that climate does change over time:
It also suggests that short-term climate change is currently occurring on Mars and at a much faster rate than on Earth.

Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.

During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. As revealed by findings presented by Quaternary scientists at Lund University, Sweden, cold periods in the north have corresponded to warmth in the south and vice verse. These results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Recall my repeated claim that Environmentalists are not concerned with saving the Earth for Man but saving the Earth from Man. I have claimed that like virtually all religious movements it must call for sacrifice. I have also posted links related to toilet paper usage which appears to be an obsession amongst them. For example, I posted a link concerning a couple that did without it for a year. I likened this to medieval saints wandering in the desert and sleeping on rocks as acts of self-abnegation and sacrifice for God. Also, keep in mind that paper is made from one of the most renewable resources imaginable - trees - which last time I checked can be grown ad infinitum. Yet, even when we find a renewable resource it is not good enough for Gaia since apparently it can be made from "virgin" wood (whatever that means.) So, you see, they are not concerned with Man but with preserving nature for its own sake. How much more evidence can I provide for this? Oh, I guess there is this:
Crow has suggested using "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required".

Crow has also commented on her website about how she thinks paper napkins "represent the height of wastefulness".

She has designed a clothing line with what she calls a "dining sleeve".

Of course, a crew of hippies driving around the country in buses to electronically power a sports arena in order to amplify high school poetry set to folk rock chords is an eminently reasonable usage of energy.

Recall my post related to Iran's reaction to the movie "300" which although stylized is generally based on the historical facts of the Greco-Persian war in which the emperor-worshipping Persian's attempted to invade and conquer the more democratic and freedom loving (albeit in a limited sense by today's standards) Greeks who defeated them against overwhelming odds. I said that this is an example of pure collectivism in that the Iranian's see themselves as members of a great historical collective (the Persian Empire) and that to "insult" any part of the collective is to invite a scornful or violent response. Collectivism naturally results from religion as faith demands the relinquishing of the individual, independent mind to the dictates of faith usually as interpreted by the philosopher king, priest, imam, guru, etc. Once an individual abandons his mind, he will seek membership in a group to seek an identity, guidance, protection and pseudo self-esteem. This is what drives the spectacle seen all over the mid-east today of the mindless conformist horde worshipping some self-anointed guru:
Film critic, Reza Dorostkar, also attending the session, dismissed the idea of preserving the Iranians identity and history through incitement of their feelings.

Of course, here is more evidence that Iran is not only the leading state sponsor of terrorism but that it is actively engaged in Iraq. And what is the response from the man that the Left would have us believe is a reckless, war-mongering lunatic? "In recent days, the administration has signaled more flexibility and Bush said if Rice meets Mottaki she will "be firm in reminding the representative of the Iranian government that there's a better way forward for the Iranian people than isolation." So, Iran supports terrorists who kill us and builds nuclear bombs, and our government's response is to be "flexible" but "firm"?! And we went to war with Iraq because they may have been thinking about building nuclear weapons or something like that? And Bush is thought to be a hawk? I'm so confused.
The State Department has once again designated Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing the Islamic Republic of aiding extremists throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.

Remember my post related to GMU cancelling Prof. John Lewis talk:
"No Substitute for Victory": The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism
by John Lewis

The talk was delivered afterall at George Mason University on April 24, 2007.
You can hear the whole lecture here:

The panel discussion at UCLA "Totalitarian Islam's Threat to the West," a panel discussion featuring Daniel Pipes, Yaron Brook and Wafa Sultan is posted free below. This was a controversial talk that erupted at various points. Keep in mind that Dr. Wafa Sultan speaks out againt totalitarian Islam after she watched her professor be murdered by machine gun fire in front of her eyes as a student in Syria. Yet, the suburban left-wing activists do everything in their power not to argue against the panel - but prevent them from being heard.