There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear; or, some thoughts on ‘global warming’

09 Feb

I tend to count myself as a skeptic on the matter of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), for multiple reasons; for one thing, back in the 1970s, some of the same people who today warn us about global warming, such as Obama’s ‘science czar’ John Holdren, were warning about a ‘new ice age’, or ‘global cooling’; for another, there was that Climategate scandal at the University of East Anglia a couple years back (in which certain scientists complained that the data they had didn’t fit with their expectations according to their model, which didn’t make them question their model, though); for yet another, the Left has been solidly behind CAGW, which is as good a reason as any to be suspicious of it, since they are usually wrong and evil and untrustworthy, dishonest liars.

And yet…  All that said, I can’t help the feeling I have that the climate has changed, visibly, during my lifetime, whether or not due to man-made reasons, or natural cycles.  I know that winters today in southern Ontario are very, very different from those I remember in my childhood, growing up; the weather was more consistently cold and snowy, and temperatures stayed well below freezing for most of the winter; whereas in recent years, the temperature has been up and down, yet not down as far as it used to typically get, and up high enough, that people have still managed to harvest plants like mustard greens, parsley, and cilantro / coriander, from their herb gardens that should be dormant since the end of fall, but in fact have continued growing!  I also know that summers were more consistently hot and humid here when I was younger, whereas there have been quite a bit of cooler and drier days in recent years than I ever remember there being, as a kid.

I know I’m not alone in my anecdotal observations; I’ve heard the same from many.

I was glad to be pointed to this essay at (hat tip: Ferd).  As Brett Stevens wisely points out:

[T]he debate on global warming is poisoned, and it was poisoned by the left. […] Caught in the middle are those of us who think something weird may be going on with the climate, but that global warming is not an accurate description.

Stevens goes on to consider some other possible sources of rising planetary temperatures that aren’t getting as much attention as the usual culprits blamed; one such main one being urbanization and the turning of productive farmland into suburban housing, neighbourhoods, etc., affecting the amount of light and heat reflected back into space.  And he examines how and why conservationism became hijacked by the Left.

An interesting and provocative piece.

I agree with the folks that conservation should be a conservative priority – as it used to be.  Our natural environment, of which God appointed us stewards, is far too important to allow to be politicized and claimed by the Left.  We live on Earth, and so we do have a vested interest in its preservation and sustenance.  So then, let us reject the Left’s substitute (for Christianity) false religion of environmentalism, in favour of a conservative, traditionalist, patriarchal (this is our Father’s world, after all) conservationism, based on rational, enlightened self-interest and God-honouring principles.


Posted by on February 9, 2012 in "science"


42 responses to “There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear; or, some thoughts on ‘global warming’

  1. Ulysses

    February 9, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Climate change, nee global warming, destroyed conservation. Wetlands being destroyed to plant corn for less-optimal fuel is but one example.

    Having written that, I’m less convinced of man’s impact on the climate. We seem hung up on playing God, pretending we can control rather than subtly shape nature, while at the same time willfully ignorant of the cyclical nature of weather. Just because the weather generally behaved one way in the ’50s does not mean that it should always behave that way. Or, to rely on C.S. Lewis, who I quote frequently:

    Nature means to us whatever we please as the moods select and slur. But everything becomes different when we recognise that Nature is a creature, a created thing, with its own particular tang or flavour. There is no need any longer to select and slur. It is not in her, but in Something far beyond her, that all lines meet and all contrasts are explained.

  2. Ulysses

    February 9, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Vox has posted on the lack of warming (make sure to follow links) . The rise is not as cut and dried as often presented. Likewise, Watts Up with That has detailed the flaws with our global thermometers. (Located on the exhaust end of airport runways, next to air conditioners, etc.)

    So I’m dubious on many of the measurements.

  3. Chris

    February 9, 2012 at 2:43 am

    We have a lack of sunspot activity, and this is associated with a lack of solar radiation, and (historically) when the sunspot cycles have been this low there has been global cooling and little ice ages.

    The climate has always changed, and always change.

  4. Carnivore

    February 9, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I’m with Chris. There has always been change and we’re living during such a transition period so it is noticeable. The Middle Ages had their warm period and 1600’s is called the “Little Ice Age”.

  5. Will S.

    February 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

    @ Ulysses, Chris, Carnivore: Indeed, I mentioned natural cycles, because I’m well aware of the warming in the middle ages (hence Greenland, was once habitable, and got that name) and the mini ice age that followed (making Greenland inhospitable, largely). I’m inclined to the view that we are seeing slight changes, that are probably mostly natural, and cyclical. Probably.

    And yeah, I don’t think the data bears out the apocalyptic mindset of the shrieking ‘Chicken Little “The Sky Is Falling!” ‘ types on the left; even some of them, like the East Anglia scientists, have expressed frustrations that the data doesn’t fit their theories. Oh well! Such is real life. I don’t trust the Left, because of how quickly they changed their story from the exact opposite (warning in the ’70s about a new ice age), yet one thing remains constant: their belief that we, humanity, are the culprit – and that government is the solution. Bullshit.

  6. Joycalyn

    February 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Two thumbs up on the last paragraph — agree 100%! I’m not smart enough to figure out the global warming stuff – it’s too confusing – but I can act to maximize the beauty and goodness of God’s creation in my own corner and with the resources He’s given me.

  7. Will S.

    February 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Indeed, Joycalyn, we can all do our part to help take care of His world.

  8. Svar

    February 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I used to be an avid reader of Great site, but a bit too nihilistic and secular for me nowadays; prefer Chronicles due to the Christian focus.

    I do think that there is hope for conservatism as practiced by conservatives. I see this in the outdoors sites that I’ve been visiting lately, like Field and Stream and Outdoor Life. Same thing with blogs run by individual sportsmen. Hunters and fishermen tend to be both conservatives and conservationists.

  9. Will S.

    February 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Indeed, hunters and fishermen wish to conserve the environment so their kids can also enjoy hunting and fishing as they do; also, such pastimes are highly traditional, and tend to be practiced by traditionalists; SWPLs don’t hunt or fish.

    Yeah, I don’t buy into all of’s philosophy / mindset, obviously. But I find some stuff of value there.

  10. Svar

    February 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    It would be great if a hunter or a fisherman would guest post telling us about his sport, what it means to him, and how it ties in with his worldview and his faith. Just putting that out there for any hunting or fishing lurkers or patrons reading this.

    I’ve become interested lately in lever action and single shot rifles. Most of the men around my age are more into M4’s and AR-15s. Those are both great rifles, really fun to shoot both IRL and COD, but I wouldn’t get one even though I can(anything goes in Texas). My aesthetic tastes have changed and the tactical/tacticool look doesn’t really make me lose my shit like it would have done a while back.

  11. samsonsjawbone

    February 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Indeed, hunters and fishermen wish to conserve the environment so their kids can also enjoy hunting and fishing as they do; also, such pastimes are highly traditional, and tend to be practiced by traditionalists; SWPLs don’t hunt or fish.

    Yep, true; great points all round, especially about how conservation strategies that everyone could get behind have been killed as “environmentalism” somehow became synonymous with leftism.

    It would be great if a hunter or a fisherman would guest post telling us about his sport, what it means to him, and how it ties in with his worldview and his faith.

    Not sure I could write a whole post… I’d need to think about it, anyway. To me hunting and fishing help satisfy my need to get out in nature alone.

  12. Will S.

    February 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I used to visit the Sportsman show in T.O., as a kid; I remember Ducks Unlimited, and other organizations involved in wetlands conservation and education. How we got from there, to here, is an interesting question…

  13. Svar

    February 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    @ Will

    Did your dad used to duck hunt?

    I don’t know… I still see the spirit of conservationism amongst the conservatives here(i.e. the good, decent folk who tend to vote Republican because they don’t think there is a better option not because they’re neo-con ideologues)…

  14. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:58 am

    No, he was more into fishing. But the Sportsman show was for both hunters and fishermen, so one would encounter both, there.

    I think most people aren’t all that ideological, even if they tend to lean one way or another in terms of their gut feelings.

  15. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

    “I think most people aren’t all that ideological, even if they tend to lean one way or another in terms of their gut feelings.”

    Thing is, I don’t we are that ideological either. I consider paleoconservatism to be something other than an ideology… More like a worldview or way of living your life.. One that is focused around family, community, and Faith. One that’s rooted in culture.

  16. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Oh, I agree; paleoconservatism is far more organic and less doctrinaire than neoconservatism, with its worship of free markets, flat taxes, and other assorted dogmas. Indeed, it is more a worldview, connected with what used to be called (and was) common sense, which included acknowledging the transcendent.

  17. samsonsjawbone

    February 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Indeed, it is more a worldview, connected with what used to be called (and was) common sense

    Ha, ha… yes.

  18. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Paleoconservatism is like Catholicism: once you get a hold of the real stuff it’s hard to go back. But I see alot of paleo sentiments amongst your everyday conservative(i.e. NOT a lying, backstabbing, two-faced politician but decent folk like us) who vote Republican. Like the men on this site:

  19. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Indeed, Mr. Quinn seems like a good common-sense fellow; a ‘straight-shooter’. 🙂

  20. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Heh, I saw what you did there 😛

    Both of the Quinn brothers are decent Christian men. We should give them some linklove.

  21. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Got your back, bro. 🙂

    Hey, go for it!

  22. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Did it.

  23. Ulysses

    February 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I’m actually a fan of ideology, but I don’t really know what to call myself as I don’t neatly fit into any of the boxes. Usually I just go with Burkean.

    I haven’t killed a deer or even been hunting in about fifteen years. Haven’t been fishing since last summer. My dad, on the other hand, rarely buys meat, but he eats it at every meal. He goes for deer, wild hogs, turkey, and fish. If the lottery for elk permits wasn’t so tough, he’d try to kill elk too. He’s big on conservation and has become really disgusted with most of the groups. He donated to the Nature Conservancy for years, but stopped a while back when they switched to fighting climate change instead of preserving wild areas. Not sure if Ducks Unlimited is still doing good work, but I hope so.

  24. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Is Burkean really an ideology, though, Ulysses, or more a tendency? I tend to think of paleoconservative as a tendency more than an ideology; a way of thinking / school of thought, certainly, yet without the dogmatic commitment and unswavering party loyalties that the word ‘ideology’ tends to suggest, to me anyway, therefore allowing for a bit more flexibility and pragmatism on the one hand and yet paradoxically a bit more idealism (since one doesn’t feel required to grit one’s teeth and mark an ‘X’ / pull a lever for the ‘lesser of the evils’).

    Anyway, kudos to your dad! I’d certainly love to eat more game meat than regular farm meat, any day!

    I haven’t really paid much attention to Ducks Unlimited in decades; don’t know what they’re up to these days, but like you said, hopefully good. Their website is here. I see they’re 75 years old, this year. Like an old grandpa, they’ve been around forever. 🙂

  25. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Good comment, Will. That first paragraph is article-worthy.

  26. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks Svar! You think so, do you? Hmmm.

  27. Ulysses

    February 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I tend to think of ideology as a philosophical framework rather than party loyalty, but that puts me at odds with the standard definition, so we’re in agreement on tendencies.

  28. Will S.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Ah, I see where you’re coming from, Ulysses; fair enough. I guess I’ve always thought of it in terms of both philosophy / worldview and partisan loyalty (even if more to a school of thought than a specific party, but usually both); I may be wrong in that understanding; but indeed, we are in agreement on tendencies.

  29. Svar

    February 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Definitely. It would be good article explaining what Paleoconservativism is.

  30. Will S.

    February 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Well, if I were to consider doing a piece on paleoconservatism itself, I might not get into ideology vs. tendency vs. Weltanschauung, directly, because whether or not my understanding of the meaning ‘ideology’ is completely correct (I’m wondering whether it is), is immaterial, but I can certainly draw a distinction between paleoconservatism and neoconservatism. Of course, Chronicles did this a decade ago, in their “What is paleoconservatism?” issue (I actually have a print copy of that; it came out in the year I lived in the States, and I saw it on a magazine rack in a bookstore, and bought it, along with a few other issues that year; I’d already started reading it online, but was delighted to be able to read it in print); I think that essay is still online, at their site, or elsewhere. It would be a good reference.

    Anyway, we’ll see…

  31. Will S.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

    BTW, a further thought, on CAGW: we know the world won’t end via the ice caps melting and the oceans rising high enough to flood all the land, because we have a promise, that God to Noah and all his descendents (including us, of course), in Genesis 9:9-17.

    9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
    12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

    17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

    So, we have assurance from God, that such a flood will not happen again.

    Therefore, we Christians need not fear that the Earth will be destroyed by a global flood, and certainly therefore not due to any flood that could be brought on by CAGW.

  32. CorkyAgain

    February 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Sometimes I think the Left simply missed the point of that old joke “Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”

  33. Will S.

    February 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm


  34. Will S.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Some girlie who calls herself ‘Evs’ left this comment in moderation:

    “So then, let us reject the Left’s substitute (for Christianity) false religion of environmentalism, in favour of a … patriarchal (this is our Father’s world, after all) conservationism”

    Because patriarchal (male) values have done such a good job? Look around you.

    Women, half of the population, have had little say in crafting our world. Do you honestly think this is a natural state? You wonder why we have such twisted policies, no protection against the pollutants that big corporations release into our atmosphere and water, and more of an emphasis on power than on common sense and social responsibility.

    It is NOT because men are evil.

    It is because we as a society exclusively value the extreme versions of characteristically ‘male’ behavior (risk taking, competition, authority, speed, short-term goals) and often reject those behaviors that are considered ‘female’ (thoughtfulness, empathy, creation, generosity, long-term goals) as weak and useless.

    As a result, the world is out of balance.

    This needs to change if we are to survive as a species.

    Enforcing a patriarchal, traditional system will not fix our problems… sorry. These ideas just don’t cut it anymore.


    Yes, male values HAVE done a great job; men created civilization; women did not. Men invented most things, discovered and applied the laws of science; built our world. Only some women did, compared to the vast scores of male inventors, scientists, engineers, etc. As Camilla Paglia has said, “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.” Taking risks built civilization. It is a good thing.

    Is it a natural state, you ask, that women have had little say in crafting our world? Of course it is natural; it happened! Ergo, it is natural. Q.E.D.

    No protection against pollutants? Perhaps one might argue not enough, but there ARE laws in place against polluting.

    I never realized women had a monopoly on thoughtfulness, empathy, generosity, and creating things. Oh yeah; that’s because they don’t. However, risk-taking, competition, and the like, are what built our great civilization. And they are masculine values, indeed; thank goodness…

    And IF we are at risk of destroying our world, which I doubt we really are, but IF so, it will take scientific and technological solutions, to solve our problems. Not ideological feminist cant, thank you very much; not bullshit ecofeminist agitprop about balance and harmony and oneness, blah blah blah.

    And no, I’m not releasing your comments. I see from your blog that you’re a Joss Whedon fangirl. Ick. That’s just unforgiveable, along with everything else.

  35. Will S.

    May 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Oh, and Evs, here’s a post, just for you! 🙂

  36. Will S.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Silly Evs thinks I don’t like women. If she bothered to poke around this site, she would know we here at Patriactionary like real women, not feminists. Big difference.

    The link was to mock you, not to give you much traffic. Even if it does give you some, I doubt that many of the regulars at this site will spend much time on your gushing-over-technology geek girl blog.

    Cheers. 🙂

  37. Will S.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Now, I don’t believe the earth is that old – I’m a young-Earth creationist – but it’s always amusing when some scientists, who act so confident that they understand what data means, suddenly find something that forces them to admit they didn’t quite know what the hell they were talking about before.


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