We've had an adorable cardinal couple -- Cardinalis cardinalis -- haunting the site for years down Chelsea (female above in the boughs of the Silver Maple the other day), but in our youth growing up in New Hampshire and then making our home in Massachusetts once we'd flown the nest, we always had robins, Baltimore orioles, pigeons and such, but rarely a cardinal. It seems like we've had them for only the last 15-20 years or so. Some would say that global warming has enticed these gorgeous Passeriformes farther north in the past couple of decades, and it may be so. But are we -- or more likely larger forces -- responsible for the migrations of our fellow species upon the earth? Click here for sound.
What do Western elites, Middle Eastern plebes and your local TV weatherman have in common? They all live in fear societies, where you buck the party line at your peril. We've flogged the subject regarding fear-society dynamics among Western elites and Middle Eastern plebes early and often, citing former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky," but rarely -- until just the other day -- has the prognostication community registered on our fear-society radar. Now it's coming in spades:
"None who had negative opinions would agree to go on record with their opinions," reports the American Meteorological Society newsletter re members' responses to a reporter's question following screenings of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" at the Society's 2007 Annual Meeting this week. But what would you expect of an organization whose keynote speakers addressed "issues of environmental justice and diversity in the context of the Forum’s theme, "Bridging the Studies of Weather and Climate"?
Then there's this revolting development -- linked by Drudge -- reported by blogger Marc Morano of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works [Note: Drudge link has caused EPW Senate site to crash temporarily]:
The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.
The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.
Be sure to check out the links -- both fact filled and full of doggie doodoo -- at Moran's comprehensive post, including Senator James Inhofe's floor speech about what he sensibly calls "the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time, global warming." And for sheer fun, treat yourself to the 685 -- and counting -- scathingly skeptical comments to Ms. Cullen's unwittingly totalitarianist post. You MUST dip into them, but here's just one for your delectation:
It is with the utmost arrogance that apparently scientifically trained people think that man has any effect on the climate. In the past, natural disasters were blamed on God, but since our “Global Warming ‘Scientists’” do not believe in God, it must be the fault of man.
Googling the American Meteorological Society, we came upon a number of refreshingly skeptical bloggers, including Steven Foley of The Minority Report, who asks rhetorically "In which part of the scientific method does it say 'get a consensus of other researchers to agree with you then present said information as fact'?" and offers a poetically laconic answer to his own question:
The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:
• 1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
• 2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
• 3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
• 4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.
Beautiful. Al Gore, take note. Oh, we forgot. You've got smaller fish to fry. As the WSJ reported today, "the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten . . . set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore":
And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune. The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?