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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Real Environmentalists Should Shut Up About Climate Change

Everyone knows Americans are skeptical of experts including scientists--and with good reason. While the basic physics of climate change is difficult to argue, the climate prediction models, even for most reasonably unbiased scientists, are closer to educated guesses than hard evidence. This is not disparaging the intelligence or competance of scientists employed by organizations such as NOAA, it's just a simple fact that the complexities of climate make any concrete predictions unreasonable. Scientists can't even agree on proper methods for obtaining the current avergage temperature of the Earth, let alone the temperature 50 years from now.

How do we--or do we--incorporate and interpolate ocean temperatures?
What about climate stations that have no universal standards throughout the world?
How about the climate station that just had a parking lot built next to it after 30 years of operation and is still taking readings from the same, now slightly heated, spot?

Hmmm...no wonder so much skepticism. The problem is scientists should not even make these predictions. As I said, the evidence behind the simple physics of greenhouse gasses is difficult to argue against,(though a few die-hards will contest even this) We should focus on the what carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses do, not specific temperature predictions. And I'll say it again, those concerned about the environment should be shouting the seemingly endless string of negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels that are easily seen by everyone. The gulf oil spill is just one big example of this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Local Ecological Knowledge Key to Sustainable Ecosystems

Combining local ecological knowledge with sound scientific method is the key to managing sustainable ecosystems. Scientists should not only make token gestures of obtaining this knowledge but use locals as part of a bottom up approach to their applicable research. Local ecological knowledge often saves researchers time and money through offering solid evidence of ecological functions that lead to better management strategies. Read more