Monday, March 22, 2010

Global Warming, or Not

I am not a scientist. The closest I came to being one was when I was pre-med in college, at Columbia. But I soon dropped that, as I found physics and chemistry truly boring, and biology only mildly interesting. I also found the other pre-med students too competitive. One time during a chem lab we were asked to get some ingredient from a large tub. The rush to the tub rivaled the onslaught of shoppers on Black Friday at opening time. Wham! Someone's jar hits me on the side of my glasses, a hard blow as anyone who wears glasses could tell you. No apology. Nothing. Just a quick scoop of the magical dust into the jar. Away with you medicine! Come hither economics!

As a confirmed non-scientist I am continually confused as to the reality of global warming. This latest salvo against the global warming belief makes me even more confused. According to this article, the belief that global warming is occuring rests on some very shoddy statistics, apparently boiling down to a very small sample of a few trees somewhere in the world, with the data being massaged and manipulated to provide the global warming result. Who is right? In principle, I am against waste and conspicuous consumption. Global warming or not, get your SUV's off the road. But is it really happeining?

Speaking of which, the trend toward green may also be breeding people who lie and cheat. According to another study, people who buy green feel a sort of entitlement to get away with other things. So, while there may indeed be global warming, it may be accompanied by an unhealthy dose of ethical cooling.

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