Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dribs and Drabs ...

It's been a while since I've posted a blog. Many things have come to mind, but not managed to intrude strongly enough to merit a full-blown discussion here. Thus, I simply offer some random, brief thoughts:

1. Storm chasers come in a whole spectrum of flavors ... don't believe that what you see on the Discovery Channel is representative of that spectrum. Reed Timmer has achieved fame and fortune. beyond doubt, but has yet to establish that he's contributed to science.

2. The science of meteorology offers few definitive answers. Forecasting is what justifies paying our salaries, but we're plagued with uncertainties as a natural outgrowth of the science as we understand it. If you want certainty, consult the arrogant or the ignorant (sometimes it's hard to distinguish between them). We can't predict the future with certainty. Can you, in your world?

3. Politics is a poor mechanism for dealing with reality. You're free to accept whatever you choose in the political spectrum, but to label your opposition with apostasy is not reality ... it's simply a mechanism for feeding your paranoia.

4. Formal religion is the haven for those who've stopped thinking and retreated into blind faith. And blind faith is a formula for persecution without hesitation, delusions about reality, and the acceptance of suppression of the rights of minorities.

5. If we praise God for touchdowns, shouldn't we give him credit for fumbles and interceptions, as well?

6. Perhaps we find predictions of apocalypse in 2012 based on Mayan notions of deep time (> 5,ooo years) to be amusing. If we apply the same skepticism to Christian predictions of the Second Coming, might it not be equally amusing? What are you doing to prepare for the winter solstice of 2012?

7. If global warming is about what you've personally experienced, do you have any idea of what a tiny sample of the climate you've actually sampled? From the perspective of climate change, a human lifetime is comparable to that of a mayfly.

8. Are your opinions about global climate change based on an equal foundation to those of the IPCC consensus?