America’s past and current religious enthusiasms

Once upon a time there was the temperance movement, which was active throughout much of the 19th century, although it disappeared during the civil war. Even Abraham Lincoln has an oft-quoted speech on temperance. The movement got its wish granted after a century of trying and demon rum was banned, by a constitutional amendment of all things. In short order America got Al Capone and the Kennedys, and the ban lasted less than 14 years.

Now America has new religious enthusiasms. (a) Catastrophic man-made global warming is one of our secular religions, despite its ludicrous claim that a 1/10,000th change in the gas that plants breathe will destroy the planet. (b) Government as God has captivated the young, so much so that they voted 60-40 for it in 2012, despite the facts that it will destroy their economic future and bury them in debt. (c) Perhaps the most peculiar of all the religions is the Unconscious Prejudice religion; that one preaches that many people are unaware that they are bad and that their evil ideas come from being trapped in the heteronormative white male privilege paradigm. (Fortunately, the State Department and the USDA are on the case.)

America dumped Prohibition when it became obvious that it caused more problems than it cured (at least for the Democrat base — FDR ran on repeal of the 18th amendment). It remains to be seen whether the current religious enthusiasms of many Americans can be repealed as well, before they do irreversible harm.

23 Responses to “America’s past and current religious enthusiasms”

  1. Sennacherib Says:

    “Democrats, they’re always there when they need us.”

  2. Zachriel Says:

    Dinocrat: (a) Catastrophic man-made global warming is one of our secular religions, despite its ludicrous claim that a 1/10,000th change in the gas that plants breathe will destroy the planet.

    Most of the atmosphere doesn’t interact in the thermal infrared range, so you can ignore about 99% of the atmosphere. CO2 represents about 25% of the greenhouse effect. We look forward to your correction.

  3. dinosaur Says:

    “Most of the atmosphere doesn’t interact in the thermal infrared range, so you can ignore about 99% of the atmosphere.”

    Yes, ignore 99% of the atmosphere. Too funny.

  4. Zachriel Says:

    dinosaur: Yes, ignore 99% of the atmosphere. Too funny.

    Most atmosphere gases don’t interact in the thermal infrared range, so don’t add to the greenhouse effect. Only certain gases are involved in the greenhouse effect; water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Consequently, a change in CO2 concentration isn’t a change of 1/10,000 of the greenhouse effect. CO2 represents about ¼ of the greenhouse effect, so a change in CO2 concentration can have a significant effect. See Kiehl & Trenberth, Earth’s annual global mean energy budget, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 1997.

  5. dinosaur Says:

    Yes, and I guess the decreasing UV output from the Sun is of no concern.

  6. Zachriel Says:

    dinosaur: Yes, and I guess the decreasing UV output from the Sun is of no concern.

    Solar variability is one of many factors affecting the Earth’s climate, including in the U/V spectrum. Changes in insolation have certainly been a factor in historical climate change. However, the current warming trend has diverged substantially from solar activity, so it doesn’t appear to be related to solar variability. Anthropogenic forcing is overwhelming the natural signal.
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/

  7. dinosaur Says:

    Yes, we know everything we need to know about the Sun. This is why we were surprised to learn that our atmosphere responded to reduced solar output by shrinking, a measurable physical change. Too bad the same can’t be said for CO2.

    http://www.space.com/9014-sun-fluctuations-caused-partial-collapse-earth-atmosphere.html

  8. Zachriel Says:

    As we said, solar irradiance may be important to explaining historical climate change, but doesn’t explain the current warming trend. Notice the divergence over the last few decades between solar activity and mean global temperature.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Solar_vs_Temp_basic.gif

  9. dinosaur Says:

    Humm, TSI remains constant and has no effect, yet the Earth’s atmosphere contracts. Obviously TSI as a measure of the Sun’s total output is flawed. Minor variances in TSI do not take into account the much greater shifts occurring at specific wave lengths within the spectrum. Another component of the Sun’s output that TSI fails to take into account is the intensity of the solar wind. The solar wind not only transfers magnetic energy to the Earth it also transfers energy directly to our atmosphere through the physical process of friction as it buffets the planet.

    As far a temperature station measurements go, they too are flawed. They haven’t been tracking global warming they’ve been tracking urbanization. Many temperature stations now reside in urban areas when three or more decades ago these same locations would have been classed as rural. Urbanization has altered the terrain turning these locations into giant heat sinks. There is always loss in the energy conversion process and it generally appears in the form of heat. Given the massive amounts of energy required to operate a technological society it’s not unexpected to find that urban areas are significantly warmer than their suburban surroundings.

    You might want to look back to the basic AGW theory because in order for it to be true Effect must predate Cause, which runs contrary to the Scientific Method. The climate record is devoid of CO2 induced climate change, it just isn’t there. Instead everything we find tells us that temperature started to move first and once in motion CO2 eventually followed suit. This indicates that CO2 is function of temperature and not the other way around, something that can’t be if AGW theory is correct.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/math-solarwind.html
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-solar-variability-terrestrial-climate.html
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html

  10. Steven Den Beste Says:

    The “Unconscious Prejudice religion” sounds suspiciously like “Original Sin”, doesn’t it? And AGW sounds a hell of a lot like Christian Millennialism. It’s rather amazing that a movement (leftism) that is nominally agnostic seems so much like a retread of Christianity.

  11. Zachriel Says:

    dinosaur: Humm, TSI remains constant and has no effect, yet the Earth’s atmosphere contracts.

    You didn’t show the relationship of the thermosphere to climate or the recent warming trend.

    dinosaur: As far a temperature station measurements go, they too are flawed.

    Yes, and the discrepancies have been accounted for by various means in determining the trend in global surface temperature.

    dinosaur: You might want to look back to the basic AGW theory because in order for it to be true Effect must predate Cause, which runs contrary to the Scientific Method.

    We’re quite aware of the basics of the greenhouse effect. You have yet to support any relationship of your claims to climate change and recent warming, or why the vast majority of climate scientists don’t seem to appreciate your wisdom. Can you point to a scientific study, for instance?

  12. Zachriel Says:

    Looking at your links:

    nasa.gov, solar wind: doesn’t mention climate at all

    phys.orgm solar variability: “The NRC report suggests, however, that the influence of solar variability is more regional than global.”

    nasa.gov, heat island: “Heat islands are not a newly-discovered phenomenon.”

    This is typical of so-called skeptic movements. Every skeptic has a different theory, or multiple theories.

  13. dinosaur Says:

    Zachriel Says: You didn’t show the relationship of the thermosphere to climate or the recent warming trend.

    No, I’m merely pointing out observational evidence. Contraction generally points to cooling which is something that is not suppose to be in a warming world. Try taking a plastic bottle and sealing it at room temperature, then place the bottle in the freezer and come back in an hour. What do we find, more importantly, why ?

    Zachriel Says: Yes, and the discrepancies have been accounted for by various means in determining the trend in global surface temperature.

    Really, please explain just how you are suppose to compensate for temperature stations located in the middle of parking lots, the middle of airport tarmacs or sitting beside building heat exhaust systems ?
    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    Zachriel Says: We’re quite aware of the basics of the greenhouse effect. You have yet to support any relationship of your claims to climate change and recent warming, or why the vast majority of climate scientists don’t seem to appreciate your wisdom. Can you point to a scientific study, for instance?

    If you remember the history of global warming it was originally sold to the Public as valid because ice core analysis showed that elevated levels of CO2 caused temperatures to rise and those increased temperatures were thought to have brought the last ice age to an end. Things were humming along swimmingly until 1999 when Fischer et al. threw a wrench into the scam by pointing out that it was the reverse that was true. The Temp/CO2 lag was confirmed in follow up research and this same relationship has also been found in the real world. So which is it, CAUSE & EFFECT or EFFECT & CAUSE ?
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/taylor/indermuehle00grl.pdf
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/283/5408/1712.abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

    Zachriel Says: nasa.gov, solar wind: doesn’t mention climate at all

    Do you really believe that the Earth’s climate remains unaffected by physical changes in its atmosphere ?

    Zachriel Says: phys.orgm solar variability: “The NRC report suggests, however, that the influence of solar variability is more regional than global.”

    It tells us that TSI is a flawed measure for the output of the Sun:

    “Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more. This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.”

    UV rays, aren’t they suppose to cause skin cancer or something ?

    Zachriel Says: nasa.gov, heat island: “Heat islands are not a newly-discovered phenomenon.”

    No, just ill considered, see above.

  14. dinosaur Says:

    Zachriel Says: You didn’t show the relationship of the thermosphere to climate or the recent warming trend.

    No, I’m merely pointing out observational evidence. Contraction generally points to cooling which is something that is not suppose to be in a warming world. Try taking a plastic bottle and sealing it at room temperature, then place the bottle in the freezer and come back in an hour. What do we find, more importantly, why ?

    Zachriel Says: Yes, and the discrepancies have been accounted for by various means in determining the trend in global surface temperature.

    Really, please explain just how you are suppose to compensate for temperature stations located in the middle of parking lots, the middle of airport tarmacs or sitting beside building heat exhaust systems ?
    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    Zachriel Says: We’re quite aware of the basics of the greenhouse effect. You have yet to support any relationship of your claims to climate change and recent warming, or why the vast majority of climate scientists don’t seem to appreciate your wisdom. Can you point to a scientific study, for instance?

    If you remember the history of global warming it was originally sold to the Public as valid because ice core analysis showed that elevated levels of CO2 caused temperatures to rise and those increased temperatures were thought to have brought the last ice age to an end. Things were humming along swimmingly until 1999 when Fischer et al. threw a wrench into the scam by pointing out that it was the reverse that was true. The Temp/CO2 lag was confirmed in follow up research and this same relationship has also been found in the real world. So which is it, CAUSE & EFFECT or EFFECT & CAUSE ?
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/taylor/indermuehle00grl.pdf
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/283/5408/1712.abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

  15. Zachriel Says:

    Our comment appears to be stuck in the moderation queue.

  16. Zachriel Says:

    Dinosaur: The Temp/CO2 lag was confirmed in follow up research and this same relationship has also been found in the real world. So which is it, CAUSE & EFFECT or EFFECT & CAUSE ?

    Both. It’s called feedback.

    Dinosaur: Do you really believe that the Earth’s climate remains unaffected by physical changes in its atmosphere ?

    Huh? Of course the atmosphere affects the climate. That’s the whole point, of course.

    Dinosaur: It tells us that TSI is a flawed measure for the output of the Sun

    That’s not what it says. It says that the amount of variation is higher in certain energies. In any case, your citation states the effects are primarily regional not global.

  17. Zachriel Says:

    Dinosaur: Contraction generally points to cooling which is something that is not suppose to be in a warming world.

    That is incorrect. Cooling in the thermosphere is *expected* due to increased CO2. However, much of the contraction is due to other causes, such as reduced extreme ultraviolet. In any case, the collapse of the thermosphere hasn’t led to any dramatic change in global mean temperature, so you still haven’t shown a link to surface temperatures.

  18. Zachriel Says:

    Dinosaur: Really, please explain just how you are suppose to compensate for temperature stations located in the middle of parking lots, the middle of airport tarmacs or sitting beside building heat exhaust systems ?

    The simplest test is to simply remove urban stations from the averages and see if that affects the trend. What do you think that would show?

  19. Zachriel Says:

    Okay, broke the comment down into pieces. They all go through except the answer about ices ages being due to various causes including changes in insolation.

  20. dinosaur Says:

    Zachriel Says: Both. It’s called feedback.

    Err, no, but good effort. CO2 has shown itself to be a lagging indicator of temperature which eliminates it as a CAUSE for temperature shifts. The CAUSE & EFFECT relationship is a basic requirement for any scientific hypothesis and failure to establish it leads to incorrect assumptions and misplaced beliefs.

    Zachriel Says: That’s not what it says. It says that the amount of variation is higher in certain energies. In any case, your citation states the effects are primarily regional not global.

    It’s fairly obvious that the solar constant as a measure of the Sun’s output is now in jeopardy. It too is another misplaced assumption that must be correct or the entire globull warming industry falls apart. Solar variability is a new concept for some and it has been meet with staunch resistance by the Warming Community but observational evidence has forced its acceptance. Our most recent solar minimum was one for the record books with depths so low that it has allowed us to calibrate our modern instruments and set a baseline for minimum solar activity. We look to be in for an extended period of reduced solar activity as our current cycle is on track to come in as the weakest cycle in the last 200 years and predictions for the following cycle have that one being in even weaker, if it occurs at all. Change shows contrast which in turn allows comparison, so hang on.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/110614-sun-hibernation-solar-cycle-sunspots-space-science/

    Zachriel Says: That is incorrect. Cooling in the thermosphere is *expected* due to increased CO2. However, much of the contraction is due to other causes, such as reduced extreme ultraviolet. In any case, the collapse of the thermosphere hasn’t led to any dramatic change in global mean temperature, so you still haven’t shown a link to surface temperatures.

    Oops more trouble ahead. By the look of it we understand far less about our atmosphere than we are being led to believe. When satellite data is replotted and compared to what is passed off as the accepted record it varies wildly. Since the new plot is constructed using original data and includes all work & figures and since the original plots show no work or figures, the new plot must be taken as valid. Under these conditions anything “expected” in our atmosphere is nothing more than guess work based on incorrect assumptions, just like the original work surrounding the ice cores. And while we are on the topic of incorrect assumptions, how is the search for the “missing heat” going ? BTW, no change is instantaneous, there is always lag between CAUSE & EFFECT, funny how that same relationship keeps popping up, the trouble is that we don’t know enough about the Sun to determine what that lag time is, yet.
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/science-gets-stratosphere-wrong
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/06/new-paper-on-argo-data-trenberths-ocean-heat-still-missing/

    Zachriel Says: The simplest test is to simply remove urban stations from the averages and see if that affects the trend. What do you think that would show?

    It would provide the much sought after answer to the globull warming scare.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/noaa-establishes-a-fact-about-station-siting-nighttime-temperatures-are-indeed-higher-closer-to-the-laboratory/

  21. Zachriel Says:

    dinosaur: CO2 has shown itself to be a lagging indicator of temperature which eliminates it as a CAUSE for temperature shifts.

    Gee whiz. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. That’s a simple physical fact. When something perturbs the climate, such as an increase in insolation, that can cause the release of more CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s a positive feedback.

    dinosaur: The CAUSE & EFFECT relationship is a basic requirement for any scientific hypothesis and failure to establish it leads to incorrect assumptions and misplaced beliefs.

    Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect. That is a direct cause and effect.

    dinosaur: It’s fairly obvious that the solar constant as a measure of the Sun’s output is now in jeopardy.

    YOU provided the citation. The citation contradicted your position.

    dinosaur: It would provide the much sought after answer to the globull warming scare.

    Except it doesn’t.

    Wickham et al., Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average Using Rural Sites Identified from MODIS Classifications, 2012: “The small size, and its negative sign, supports the key conclusion of prior groups that urban warming does not unduly bias estimates of recent global temperature change.”

  22. dinosaur Says:

    Zachriel Says: Gee whiz. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. That’s a simple physical fact. When something perturbs the climate, such as an increase in insolation, that can cause the release of more CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s a positive feedback.

    Except, if what you claim is true then you should easily be able show somewhere in the climate record where CO2 LEADS temperature. Funny how conspicuously absent this is. Should you want to furnish evidence to the contrary please feel free, I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to come up with something believable. The Proprietor was correct, you can’t reason with a religious belief.

    Zachriel Says: Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect. That is a direct cause and effect.

    Hum, there appears to be something not right with this. Just as CO2 levels did not increase until after temperatures started to increase CO2 levels do not start fall until after temperatures begin their decline. You were saying something about CAUSE & EFFECT ? Positive feedback leads to system instability and the fact that we are here now points out just how wrong that idea is.

    Zachriel Says: YOU provided the citation. The citation contradicted your position.

    Hardly. If you’re capable of “seeing” magnetic energy then you must have exceptional eyesight. Viewing sunspots to gauge magnetic energy is not the same as using space based telescopes to measure the actual output, think of fading. There were no visible indications that our Sun was headed for its current downturn but there were warnings that were picked up by these instruments, and these warnings were missed by the establishment who embarrassed themselves by claiming that our current cycle was going to be even larger than the last.
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/21dec_cycle24/

    Zachriel Says: Except it doesn’t.

    Wickham et al., Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average Using Rural Sites Identified from MODIS Classifications, 2012: “The small size, and its negative sign, supports the key conclusion of prior groups that urban warming does not unduly bias estimates of recent global temperature change.”

    You might want to point this out to NOAA.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/noaa-establishes-a-fact-about-station-siting-nighttime-temperatures-are-indeed-higher-closer-to-the-laboratory/

  23. Zachriel Says:

    dinosaur: Except, if what you claim is true then you should easily be able show somewhere in the climate record where CO2 LEADS temperature.

    As we have already pointed out, greenhouse gases can be both cause and effect. We pointed this and explained this previously. You must have missed it.

    dinosaur: Hum, there appears to be something not right with this.

    Are you actually claiming that CO2 does not cause a greenhouse effect. That would be very odd, as it is a direct physical effect. Are you saying that there is no greenhouse effect?

    Zachriel: YOU provided the citation. The citation contradicted your position.

    dinosaur: Hardly.

    You say the effect is global. Your citation says the effect is regional, and not global. That’s a direct contradiction.

    dinosaur: You might want to point this out to NOAA.

    That doesn’t contradict Wickham et al. The trend remains. That’s the whole point of the study.

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