Climate Change Emails

Climate change is in the news again and not just because of an upcoming conference in Copenhagen or continued discussion by Congress to pass “cap and trade” laws.  Files from the University of East Anglia were hacked and uploaded onto the internet.  These files include numerous emails and internal documents on the discussion over climate change.

It’s no surprise that scientists disagree on the issue and it is no real revelation that there is even childish namecalling among dissenting views.  What is cause for concern is the accusation that scientists manipulated data to support their view rather than deriving their view from an objective evaluation of the information.

Among the more interesting bits leaked was a statement implying that scientists can’t account for a lack of global warming going on currently. “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”  Another alarm comes from the fact that examination of tree growth rings stopped when they did not support their thermometer readings.  The New York Times writes here:

“Through the last century, tree rings and thermometers show a consistent rise in temperature until 1960, when some tree rings, for unknown reasons, no longer show that rise, while the thermometers continue to do so until the present.”

There may be a good reason for abandoning the tree rings but no explanation is offered as to why the tree rings show different data and why that data is not attempted to be reconciled rather than disregarding it.

Scientists point out that the timing of this information leak is suspicious at best given the climate change conference coming up.  But that seems beside the point.  The information was obtained illegally and obviously was meant to damage backers of the climate change position.  The point is that these conversations happened and the public has been told that climate change is universally accepted and all scientific data backs this up.  Instead there are dissenting opinions and apparently data that contradicts what the climate change supporters want us to believe.

Before this seems like an isolated event with a few bad apples, in my search for actual information about these climate change emails, (I first read about this on CNN yesterday, almost two weeks after the emails were first reported about elsewhere on the web – and CNN offered no information about the actual contents of the emails) I uncovered that this is not the first set of damaging leaks.  This site discusses leaked emails from the EPA and a demand for more information to be released to the public. 

In the EPA emails, a scientists was told not to speak about climate change outside of the National Center for Environmental Economics.  Another email forbid him from researching the topic any further.  A third email gives the impression that the organization’s position was set and releasing data to the contrary would only cause trouble.

We should be good stewards of God’s creation.  We certainly have an impact on our environment and there are things that we can do to cut down on pollution that should be done.  Clouds of smog over Mexico City and Los Angeles are not naturally occurring and it doesn’t take scientific data to prove this.  Perhaps we need to be a bit less trusting when science tells us that something is a proven fact and that everyone agrees with it.  It sounds very similar to the story of evolution that we’ve been told as well.

Credit Card Interest

With Black Friday just a few days away, this seemed particularly current.  Many people with credit cards probably have received a letter in recent weeks or months about their interest rates going up.  I have received two such letters, both from Citibank, concerning my credit cards from Zales and a furniture store.

For those who don’t know what is going on, Congress passed a law in the spring that places much greater restrictions on what credit card companies can do to consumers and how they can raise interest rates.  This law goes into effect in February and credit card companies and raising rates ahead of the law.  The House of Representatives caught on to this and passed a bill to move up the effective date to December 1st.  Unfortunately the Senate has been unable to pass a similar bill and consumers will continue to find their rates increased from now until February.

The banking industry is responding by saying that the increase in interest rates is due to an increased risk in lending.  This sounds like a good excuse until it’s compared to reality.  Both accounts that I had were never late and both have been active this year.  I have excellent credit.  And still my rate for both accounts was raised to 27.99%.  This is beyond ridiculous and is even more insulting when I think that Citibank was one of the biggest banks bailed out by your taxes and mine.

On top of cancelling my credit card with Zales, I sent them a letter telling them that I would no longer be purchasing from their store because of how I was treated by their financier, Citibank.  Big banks aren’t going to care if they lose a few customers like you or I over increased interest rates.  But if the companies that they provide credit for realize they are losing business because of absurd interest rates and do their banking elsewhere, maybe these banks will finally get the idea.

If you find your interest rate increased on your credit card between now and February, I encourage you to not only cancel the credit card, but contact the company who issued it and let them know that you intend to take your business elsewhere because of they way you were treated by their financier.

Ardi, the so called missing link

Scientists are abuzz over the release of fossil findings that claim to be much older than previous human remains and come closer to the elusive missing that bridges the gap between the evolution of apes and humans.

For starters, I’m not a big believer in evolution.  I believe God created man from the dust of the earth, not through millions of years of gradual changes as the strong survived and the weak died out.  It bothers me greatly that this is taught as scientific fact in schools for the simple reason that it is called the theory of evolution for a reason.  If it’s a theory, that means it hasn’t been proven or it can’t be proven.  And if it is a theory, alternative points of view should be discussed but those come from religion and apparently religion has nothing to teach us so it should be removed from public school at all costs.

Perhaps more frustrating about the Ardi finding is the fact that scientists are jumping to conclusions about what this new fossil teaches us.  It appears that Ardi walked on two feet like a human and had many other human like traits that scientists didn’t expect one of our “ancient ancestors” to possess so early in our evolution.  Based on one skeleton scientists are rethinking everything they know about early humans.

Rethinking things is fine when new evidence is presented. I’m all for that.  But the way these new conclusions are being trumpeted as if we have finally find the answer to all that we were missing is absolutely ridiculous.  This is one skeleton.  It happens to be far more complete than some of the previous heralded finds but still just one skeleton. 

What puzzles me more than anything about science’s search for the missing link is how little evidence there is compared to what we can still find from what supposedly took place millions of years before man was on earth.  Dinosaurs supposedly died out 65 million years ago – Ardi’s remains date back only about 4 million years.  Why are there an abundance of skeletal remains from 65 million years ago but nothing of ape/human remains.  You could make the argument that dinosaurs were much bigger and their bones would take much longer to break down and decay than a human’s.  But I would have to believe that 60 million plus years is more than enough time to make up for the difference in size.

While scientists trumpet this latest proof in the evolution of humanity, I’d recommend that we take everything with a grain of salt.  I believe the Bible for what it’s worth and believe that God created me special, not as a long term science project with apes.  But using sciences own criteria I feel fully confident that in a few more years there will be another “big discovery” that will change the way we look at early human history once again.