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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 30, 2011 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5771

A Hurricane, Evolution and Rick Perry

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Hurricane Irene story ought to, but won't, shed light on our prejudices regarding science.

 

The favored liberal Democratic narrative — we've seen it trotted out against Rick Perry in the past two weeks — goes like this: Democrats are the party of the enlightenment. They believe in science and facts. They know that Darwin was correct about the origin of species, and that human beings are responsible for potentially catastrophic global warming through production of carbon dioxide. Republicans, on the other hand, are the pre-modern party of superstition, religious explanations for natural phenomena and global warming denial.

 

Gov. Perry played to type when he told a young questioner that "evolution" was "a theory that's out there," but "it's got some gaps in it." That's why, he said, "in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools." Well, he's right that the theory has some gaps in it, but it remains the best explanation yet propounded to explain biological changes. He's wrong, embarrassingly enough, about Texas. They don't teach creationism in the public schools.

 

But Perry's critics, who've been eager to lump his skepticism about manmade global warming into the same category as his openness to creationism, look equally foolish. Again and again, those who believe in anthropogenic global warming declare that, "The science is settled." But science is never settled. At the heart of the scientific method is openness to data and testing. And while creationism cannot be said to be an alternative scientific theory to evolution (because it cannot be tested) there are countless competing theories for observed changes in global temperatures over the past century. And there are many reputable scientists who dispute that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are wholly responsible for those changes.

 

There are even more scientists who agree that carbon dioxide is warming the planet, but firmly oppose the hysteria and catastrophism of Al Gore and his acolytes who demand dramatic (and hopelessly unrealistic) changes in our way of life to counter it.

 

Richard S. Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, observed in 2009 that, "the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally — such as for the last dozen years or so — it does little that can be discerned. Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre." Professor Lindzen was referring to the inconvenient fact that there has been no increase in global temperature since 1998. This is utterly inconsistent with the computer models that predicted steady and relentless warming if we did not radically reduce carbon emissions. The famous "hockey stick" graph offered by University of Massachusetts professor Michael Mann, which became the emblem of global warming panic, has been shown to be a fraud (see "Technology Review," Oct. 15, 2004).

Speaking of computer models, consider the recent attempt to predict Hurricane Irene's path and strength. The New York Times's Henry Fountain analyzed the meteorologists' failure to predict the storm's strength. "Forecasters had expected that a spinning band of clouds near its center, called the inner eyewall, would collapse and be replaced by an outer band that would then slowly contract. Such 'eyewall replacement cycles' have been known to cause hurricanes to strengthen. While its eyewall did collapse, Irene never completed the cycle." A hurricane expert consulted by Mr. Fountain noted that the Hurricane Center had done well in predicting the path of the storm. "But it was not surprising that the strength forecasts were off — the accuracy of such forecasts has hardly improved over the past several decades."

This is not to mock or castigate meteorologists. There are so many factors that influence storms — wind shear, ocean temperatures, fluid dynamics, drier air masses that drift into a storm's path and other things. It's difficult to predict a storm's intensity. Let alone next week's weather.

It's even harder to predict the overall direction of global climate. In addition to the factors named above, global climate is affected by solar radiation cycles, La Nina and El Nino, the Pacific Decadal and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations, the amount of algae in the seas, and seismic activity, to name a few. Yes, most climate scientists believe that anthropogenic global warming is happening, but the rate, the degree and the effects are all still very much in dispute.

The pro-science posture then, is to recognize the limitations of what we can currently predict and to remain open to evidence. Shrieking your insistence that the "science is settled" only demonstrates an unscientific and dogmatic orthodoxy.

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