Monday, April 2, 2007

Global Warming Again

I can't decide what to think about "global warming". I don't trust the media, I don't trust politicians, I don't even trust the so-called scientists. They all have an agenda they are pushing which biases their positions. I think there are certainly observations and measurements of climatological factors that indicate that the earth is in a warming cycle -- at least some areas of the earth. Is the warming man-made, or part of the natural rhythm of the earth's climate?

I had a lot of training in statistics when I was in college. The old adage that "the figures don't lie, but liars can figure" is appropriate to consider, and certainly relevant to the question of climate change. If you have a particular point of view that you believe to be correct, the research that you conduct will be conducted in such a way that you will likely prove your point -- especially in an area that has as many variables as the earth's climate. If you believe that the polar ice caps are melting, you will look until you find evidence that they are melting. If you believe that the earth is warming, you will look until you find evidence of warming -- even if you have to measure the temperature in a thousand locations to do it! All research begins with the biases of the researcher. They cannot be removed from the process. I know that you "scientists" out there will disagree with this, but keep in mind that your disagreement is a bias in itself.

My training is in economics. Economics is a so-called social science. It is the study of the allocation of resources. It uses scientific methods to the extent possible. However, all economic problems are affected by huge numbers of variables. The larger the number of variables, the more inexact the conclusions. The large number of variables is one of the biggest problem with climatology. In economics, quite literally, the price of eggs in China can potentially impact the futures market for corn in the United States. Why? One possible scenario is that a high price for eggs in China could cause a shift in chicken raisers from meat production to egg production. This in turn could create a demand in China for imported chicken. Perhaps the chickens are imported from the U.S. as frozen, boxed chicken. The increased demand for chicken from U.S. suppliers could cause a price rise in chicken meat in the U.S. causing a shift in consumption by U.S. consumers from chicken to beef. In the feedlots of the U.S., corn is one of the primary feed ingredients. Therefore, the quantity of corn demanded would increase and the cash price of corn would increase -- at least temporarily until the farmers responded by planting more corn. The cash price increase would create a speculative increase in the corn futures market. An endless number of other scenarios can be concocted by any good economist that would provide the same or a different answer. It is likely that none of them are completely true.

Now all of that was said for this reason. How many variables affect the weather? Even solar flare activity affects the weather on earth. There is no way that scientists can know with certainty that human activity is causing global warming.

Al Gore has come to the forefront as one of the biggest "fear-mongers" of global warming. He's also making a lot of money in that role. Is he also running for President based on the questionable fears that he is creating in the American public? The general public notoriously follows the media. The media tends to give favorable treatment to the most liberal of ideas. It all just makes me suspicious.

It's time for the American people to take our country back from the vultures. If we don't, they'll soon be picking over our bones.

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