13 July 2007

Cause and Effect

It's a well known fact that cause and effect are closely linked. Why, then, do Alaska's politicians refuse to talk about the causes of global warming and instead focus almost exclusively on the effects?

To wit:

  • The Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission, which is charged by the legislature with figuring out how the state should respond to global warming and what impacts global warming has, but it expressly is not to talk about the causes of global warming;
  • Governor Sarah Palin, who forms a climate change sub-cabinet to look at how the state can respond to global warming and refuses to say (when I have asked her) if she thinks global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens, who have finally signed on to the need for mandatory greenhouse gas emissions but primarily (I surmise) because the bill contains billions of dollars for Alaskans suffering from global warming. Stevens says the bill is important "regardless of whether these changes are caused by human activity."
When you have a problem, it makes sense to figure out what's causing it rather than just dealing with the effects. When you're sick, you don't want to just treat the symptoms, you want (if you can) to treat the underlying cause. Looking at causes helps establish a long-term solution.

Perhaps no one wants to talk about global warming causes because when we do the finger gets pointed right at ourselves.


First Alaskan Man said...

Global warming with the associated complexities, is beyond most of our ken. When one wants to point the finger toward a singular offender, like pixy-sticks, the causal primer is juxtaposed with equally important primers. Because I’m worried about climate change, suddenly, I’m claimed by these outrageous groups such as the one that was calling for a ban on fishing as hooks hurt the fish. I and my friends don’t want to be labeled with these idiots so won’t go into what caused it. I will do my best to ameliorate, through regulation if necessary, our perceived contribution toward greenhouse gasses. Yet we are told other planets are facing the same scenario yet these same planets aren’t peopled. We are all afraid of the rising oceans. Here in Kotzebue, the Kotzebue Sound/Chukchi Sea has risen over the years; listening to the People of the North Slope during this summit, they too see this on the Beauford Sea. Yet the waters have been rising and reclaiming land for as long as they remember. Some of the current Elders spoke of their Elders telling them of lands that are now submerged, just as the Elders before them spoke of these things.
So here we are, suddenly to point the finger at industry. These same people who would want us to shut down industry are reacting, wanting to preserve the status quo. As a Native, I think back to our history 100 years ago: it was people like this who wanted to maintain the status quo that banned us from many public facilities as we didn’t belong, it was these same people who wanted to keep slavery intact, it was these same people who will always speak of the “good old days”. Jesse, there are folks like me who remember just how bad the “good old days” were for a lot my ancestors. I’m resistant to the idea of subscribing to a carpetbagger theory, because, if I do that, I’m now in the carpetbaggers union with no way out. I’m glad the State of Alaska and both good senators have agreed to help, without pointing fingers.

Coldfoot said...

Remember ozone holes? It cost industry billions of dollars to divert the disaster that was going to be ozone holes.

We now know that "science" was bunk. (A few voices in the wilderness tried to point out it was bunk at the time, but their voices were drowned out by the we-have-to-do-something-just-in-case-before-it's-too-late crowd.)

We get no apologies from the so called scientists who perpetuated the bunk and cost the world billions of dollars unnecessarily, instead we get vague statements that disaster may have actually been diverted because of our action and if you say otherwise we will call you a small minded nazi.

Human caused global warming is simply the latest cooked up environmental crisis that needs to be taken on faith. Even the global warming proponents can't agree. Some say it may be too late, some blame every hurricane on global warming, some say we have 20 years before we see signs of global warming, others say 50 years. So much for consensus in the scientific community.

Personally, I say if it wasn't for global warming we would still be in the last ice age.

Steve said...

1. People don't like change.
2. People don't like to be blamed for things.
3. People don't like to be wrong.
4. The global warming proof is complicated.

But if the house is burning and someone says pouring kerosene on the fire isn't helping, I wouldn't wait for all the science to stop pouring.

Here's a good link on what to say to global warming skeptics: (I've made it into three lines because it was too long, you'll have to get rid of the spaces at the end of the lines)

Coldfoot said...

Sorry Steve. Based upon the facts the global warming proponents would have to be called the skeptics, if by "skeptics" we mean people who look at established science and say science might be wrong.

Ishmael said...


What alternative bizaro universe did the idea that ozone holes were bunk? Their still a problem. Get your head out of your ... snowbank and wake up.

Only the blind and the idiots still say global warming isn't happening, or isn't human-caused.

First Alaskan Man said...

There you go Jesse; the world is still flat for a lot of folks.

Jim said...

Hey Jesse, way to stir up the bees nest. Look at the deny-ers you woke up. Fun to read though but I can't help wonder how the working people can so blindly accept the self-serving quasi-science of our corporate overlords. They need to get out more. Try some other news source than the conservative mainstream media and Limblah. Cheers, /j

Andrew H. said...

I'm always amused at the people who think global warming is 'bunk science.' They need only look around them to spot a few things:

- There are millions (billions?) of cars on the roads today, each putting into the atmosphere harmful pollutions.

- Drive through any major industrial town and I defy you not to get sick or find it unpleasant. It's smelly, gross and completely unnatural.

- There are major environmental catastrophes happening on an almost daily basis. Destroying wildlife habitats, killing thousands of animals and tainting our water supplies.

Regardless of whether or not global warming is 'true' or 'real', it's a good enough excuse to clean up our act.