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I suppose that it's no surprise that a National Post columnist doubts the validity of global warming, but that Barbara Kay would put more credibility on the typings (writing is too good a word) of Michael Crichton than on someone that has studied environmental issues all his career, shows that she has chugged the entire pitcher of Kool Aid.

It's simply dizzying.

Isn't Crichton an M.D.?
Haven't we had the discussion of the 'experts outside the field' thing before?
That said, Suzuki isn't doing himself any favours by walking out - while I agree with his conclusions, he's getting a little strident in tone, which is putting some people off. I like and admire the man, and have great faith in his knowledge, but emotional displays feed the opposition's egos, and this article is a case in point.

I know you don't like hearing this but Crichton makes some excellent points and only a closed mind would not at least consider them.I agree that man contributes to global warming and cleaner technology is a worthy goal and I would support such efforts but we used to believe the earth was flat and that in the 1970's we were entering another ice age.
How Can you support Kyoto when it encourages China to build 592 Coal fired power plants?

Crichton has a medical degree, but I believe he has never actualy practiced. For what it's worth, I don't actually have any problem with people that step outside of their realms of expertise - I think it's refreshing and do it all of the time. However, it is patently easy to be just plain wrong, and in many cases Crichton is just that. Suzuki walked out because rehashing what really is a "settled issue" is fucking tiring and pointless, because the argument has gone beyond fact to belief - no evidence is going to anyone from any position now. It's time to either merrily chug along as we are or take seriously what thousands of scientists have been saying for a couple of decades.

It's really that simple. And for someone who has to rehash the argument over and over, that fucking annoying, I've no doubt.

I would like to think that I have a fairly open mind on things scientific, and I have in fact considered Crichton's points. The problem with them is that they have either been dealt with or are non-issues. I didn't actually take notes when I read his book and so can't list all of them, but things like localized cooling are in fact predicted by the same climatic models that predict overall global warming. His big point was to poke at the 'hockey stick' curve of temperature (and CO2) over the past few thousand years, but these doubts have already been dealt with in the scientific and popular press. The graphs are statistically and scientifically considered factual. Also, the sea-level drop around the Maldives sited by Kay (and Crichton, her mentor) is still considered controversial and in any case is thought to be the result of localized increased evaporation in the central Indian Ocean owing to a relatively recent change in the monsoon patterns. It is a local effect, and one that could very well change drastically should the mosoon patterns change, which may well occur. I wouldn't be buying any real estate there just now. If she is somehow expecting local effects to protect coastal areas all over the world, her head is in a very, very dark and smelly place.

Based on Barbra Kay's logic I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Crichton's novel "Time Line" as proof in the feasability of time travel. I know someone out there is going to read this and say that I'm just being a smartass, which I am, What of it? This doesn't make the comparision any less valid. Science Fiction novels do not make a good basis for public policy. Unless you're as scientifically illiterate as Ms Kay seems to be.

Doug, everyone knows that science fiction novels are not a good basis for science, but religion is another story - ask a Scientologist, he'll tell you.

Kevvyd, good points, well made. I have been known to stray outside my field as well, truth be told. Of course, you know that better than anyone, since you're often the one subjected to it.
I didn't mean to imply that I didn't understand or sympathize with his motivation for walking out, I just think it didn't help his credibility with his opponents.

Flash as it happens Ms Kay is an English Literature and composition teacher by trade. A worthwhile thing in itself but it might explains why she bases her scientific beliefs on Crichton novels.
Also, I did talk to a scientologist once. I think that John Travolta now has a picture of me labelled "The Face of the Beast".

As a young frosh at Dal, I wandered down Quinpool Road one day and, with a handful of friends walked into the Scientology office and took their "free personality test". Nearest I can figure it, they use the results to tease out the weakest in the crowd and then submit them to merciless rounds of questioning, attempts to separate them from the group, mailouts and general harrassment.

Assholes.

Ah, Kevvy I always wondered why you had such particular loathing for them. Well do I remember the drunken walks from downtown Halifax.... and waiting for you to finish peeing on their doorstep.

graven,

and waiting for you to finish peeing on their doorstep

Unfortunately, they have moved on from that location, too. I'm not sure where they're at now, maybe out in Cole Harbour with the Mormon freaks.

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