Dear Howie (Cap & Trade – Meeting Dec 10)

Dear Howie,
Sorry I missed you a couple of weeks. It has been very busy. Last
weeks topic was about global warming, specifically Cap and
Trade policies. I would have to say it was one of the most
informative and interesting meetings we have ever had. This is
mainly because people abandoned partisan discussion habits and
actually listened to each other. The main concern, at least for
me, was how we get information and how it is disseminated to
others, not just our group but everybody. When it was pointed out
that the information on global warming, especially it’s timing,
may be fuzzy I am happy to say that no one accused anyone else
of being FOR GLOBAL WARMING. Our resident scientist Norm
wisely looked at the data obtained and reserved judgement on
when the Seas will rise or how fast climate change will occur1
I think news to many people was the simple fact that when an
ice cube melts in a cup the water level in the cup does not rise.
We have all seen the ice cap melting and glaciers shrinking in
size. It may be that only the latter proposes any possible concern
over a rise in the sea level. In any case the effect may not be
immediate but occur over decades if not centuries.
It appears politics is in play no matter where you look, even
science. If one looks at a study of scientific discovery in the 20th
century personal politics reigns. This person is “out” amongst
scientist while this person is “in” until that is that the outsider is
proven correct. This is good but it appears even scientist seem
distracted by personal bias. In the end we have to trust our
scientist to come up with the relevant data and not succumb to
hyperbole and pressure political or personal. I won’t even
mention the competition over getting funding.
I mentioned before our study of how humans prefer to
communicate. It appears most people rely on anecdotal
information, sensational retelling of a tale that becomes “truth”
in time. This was my only concern regarding this issue. I know
you are a member of the Sierra Club and you know me from
hiking. I do consider myself an environmentalist but lets not pour
resources into something too soon that may be folly. The fact
that this scientific study has become a partisan issue amongst
laymen should be a warning in itself. I will patiently wait and
hear from the scientists.
In the future I think I will recommend a topic on the scientific
method and how it can be bjased intentionally or unintentionally.
Next week is a topic on the three strikes law. Linda, a lawyer, is
making the presentation. Hope all is well with you.-Gary.

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