(FUTUREdition to STARpod.us) â€” One of the problems with being a futurist is that what you are looking at (the future) is the product of an extremely complex, highly dynamical system that is intrinsically unpredictable. –
The idea therefore is to build coherent mental pictures of alternate, plausible possibilities â€“- scenarios â€“- that would be of particular interest if they in fact manifested. Then another issue emerges: how do you communicate these â€œpossibilitiesâ€?
That said, itâ€™s easy, even for some of us who best understand these principles, to lapse into language that really does sound like weâ€™re trying to predict whatâ€™s literally going to happen. For me, at least, regardless of what I suggest is inbound â€” and regardless of how much corroborating evidence there is that suggests that this thing is REALLY going to happen, in the back of my mind I know that any number of things could (and probably will) show up that will change the current direction of life.
This fact is lost on a lot of people who read my things, including my wife. She keeps writing down the potential events that I talk about and notating on her iphone calendar the window of time that I mention â€“- and then reminding me when that time arrives that what I mentioned didnâ€™t happen. I try, of course, to remind her that the system is not linear (regardless of what I had said), and many significant people with lots of resources are trying very hard to maintain the status quo. Iâ€™ve watched, for instance, on a number of occasions when many sources predicted that the financial system would imminently implode and then it didnâ€™t -â€“ because the Federal Reserve and Treasury threw more money into the system then anyone had ever seen done before.
So, the best ideas are intrinsically suspect â€” to some degree or another. This shows up in spades in reviews like the following: 1987 predictions of what 2012 will look like from science fiction writers. Iâ€™ve read a number of these compilations over the years and theyâ€™re always entertaining, to say the least.
[You’ll find the whole article. “Sci-Fi writers of the past predict life in 2012” here] â€” I think it is important for you to read this, and then think about how far off many of these very creative, out-of-the-box thinkers were in visualizing how the future would emerge.
I hope you made it through the above article, because it makes very clear that it is easy to get captured by what you believe and see things through that lens and misinterpret what you are seeing. Let me give you a current example.
You should read this article. It talks about how satellite imagery has indicated that surface ice is now melting at a higher rate in Greenland than seen in recent times. It begins with this sentence:
â€œUnprecedented melting of Greenlandâ€™s ice sheet this month has stunned NASA scientists and has highlighted broader concerns that the region is losing a remarkable amount of ice overall.â€
Other sites picked up the story and ran it under the headlines:
â€œUnprecedented melting of Greenlandâ€™s ice sheet this month has stunned NASA scientistsâ€
â€œNASA WARNS 97 PERCENT OF GREENLAND ICE SHEET SURFACE MELTED IN FOUR DAYS!â€
â€œNearly all of Greenlandâ€™s ice sheet surface melts.â€
Yes, there was a very hot spell that produced unusual melting on the surface, but the headlines (and the graphics) would have you believe that most of the ice sheet melted in four days, which was not the case.
It was predictable that some scientists would ascribe the melting to humans. The article quotes one:
â€œWagner said that ice is clearly thinning around the periphery, changing Greenlandâ€™s overall ice mass, and he believes this is primarily due to warming ocean waters â€œeating away at the ice.â€ He cautiously added, â€œIt seems likely thatâ€™s correlated with anthropogenic warming.â€â€
I wonder though, if you read and thought about this comment buried two thirds of the way down in the article:
â€œGoddard glaciologist Lora Koenig said that similar melting events occur about every 150 years, and this event is consistent with that schedule, citing the previous 1889 melt. But, she added, â€œif we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.â€â€
Now wait. Itâ€™s happened before â€¦ on a regular cycle and itâ€™s doing it again, right on time. Iâ€™m wondering whatâ€™s â€œunprecedentedâ€ about that and why scientists are â€œstunnedâ€ by something for which there is significant precedent. It doesnâ€™t smell right to me â€“- either theyâ€™re not very well informed or theyâ€™re not being really honest.
It turns out that that is also the conclusion that Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, has come to.
Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore: â€˜Thank goodness we came along & reversed 150 million-year trend of reduced CO2 levels in global atmosphere. Long live the humansâ€™
Commenting on a new study that suggests that CO2 is increasing and therefore threatening the world the article says:
Ecologist Dr. Moore pulled no punches in commenting on the new study: â€œThese people are either completely naive about the relationship between CO2 and plants or they are making this up as a way of deflecting attention from the lack of warming for the past 15 years.â€ Moore is the author of the book, â€œConfessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist,â€ in which he exposes the green movement and explains why he left the organization.
Climate Depot went on to quote Moore:
â€œPlants grow much faster when CO2 is higher, the optimum concentration is between 1500-2000 ppm so there is a long way to go before plants are happy. CO2 levels in the atmosphere have continued to rise despite plants absorbing more CO2. So what is the â€˜scientistsâ€™ point? It is to obfuscate, confuse, and otherwise muddy the waters with disinformation.â€
Lamentably, more and more scientists are coming to this conclusion.
â€œSome of the preeminent scientists involved in promoting global-warming alarmism have been disgraced and discredited, after being caught in flagrante in unethical and illegal activities. Even before the 2009 â€œClimategateâ€ e-mail scandal, many leading scientists who had earlier been true believers in man-made global warming (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW) had begun jumping ship and joining the AGW skeptic side. Since then, the defections have turned into a veritable flood, making this one of the great untold stories of the major establishment media, which continue to trumpet the alarmist propaganda.â€
The author of this article is obviously trying to make a point, but Iâ€™m seeing many indications that suggest that the climate models and interpretation that support the notion that we are seeing global warming that is caused by humans is just plain wrong. There is no consistent, global data to support those proposals. Witness, for example, what has happened across the planet in the last couple of weeks.
They had snow last week in South Africa. There was so much that it closed roads. Itâ€™s winter down there, but it never snows in South Africa, even in the winter.
Does that sound like global warming? I am reminded of the extraordinarily frigid winter in Europe in February that killed 650 people and thinking, â€œit looks like winters are getting colder and summers are getting warmer.â€ Itâ€™s as though the system is oscillating between increasing extremes. It is becoming unstable â€“- and thereâ€™s good science now that suggests that after this present sunspot cycle it may shift to being globally much colder.
FUTUREdition is republished at STARpod.org by permission of Mr. John L. Petersen. STARpod.org is not in any way, financial or otherwise, affiliated with Mr. Petersen or The Arlington Institute. The article represents the viewpoint and opinion of Mr. Petersen, whom we hold in high regard; however Mr. Petersenâ€™s opinion in no way represents the official position of STARstream Research or STARpod.org.
Copyright (c) 2012 John L. Petersen / The Arlington Institute â€” All rights reserved in full by the author.