From GENE LOGSDON
Those of you convinced that global warming is a grave danger should try to forgive skeptical farmer types like me. We deal with potential destructive weather change every day of the growing season. Feeling helpless in the face of an uncaring human society is part of our daily lives.
When Budd Shepherd said that global warming has become “a belief and an ideology… it stimulates the god center of peoples’ brains,” he expressed my opinion dead on. I think what is happening today is that science is assuming the mantle of religion, and climate change is only one example.
I looked up the links some of you kindly suggested, as I have looked at numbers about climate change before. My problem is that my brain is not capable of comprehending those numbers and I don’t think yours is either. When I am told that there are an estimated total of 210 gigatons of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere I have to wonder, especially since science has not yet determined the total size of our “space.” My first question is who is doing the estimating? A gigaton is a BILLION tons. I can’t wrap my brain around one gigaton let alone a flock of them. Even a tiny miscalculation could mean a huge difference. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is reckoned at around 391 ppm at the moment, as I read the numbers. Between 2000 and 2009 that amount increased by 2 ppm. That is an infinitesimally small amount in terms of parts per million over nine years. Am I to be shunned and criticized if I wonder whether such a slight change is significant or if there could be a very teensy weensy error in the calculations and in fact the ppm might have decreased by 2 or remained the same? The scientific community is demanding of me a blind faith in its numbers when there is reason to be skeptical.
But there are better examples of how science is changing into theology. I have been trying to wade through the literature about the discovery of what scientists call a “Higgs boson.” Actually, they don’t think they discovered it yet, after all the hullabaloo. The language of the Higginites is ludicrously obfuscating. A Higgs boson, by definition, is a sub-atomic particle. It has no size. Right away red flags go up in my brain, like when theology tried to convince me that there are three divine persons in one god. In trying to describe this strange boson to poor ignorant farm boys like me, the Higginites resort to amazingly imaginative metaphors. One writer on Google likens a boson to a pure white snowflake in a blizzard of pure white snowflakes, falling on an unlimited blanketing landscape of pure white snowflakes. Another describes the Higgs “field” where bosons roam as “dark energy” in an “invisible mist.” Another tries to make bosons intelligible by alluding to windblown dust sifting off a wall— but the wall isn’t really there. This is the kind of horse manure language that poets and theologians are fond of. I’m actually fond of it myself. But I surely can’t accept deductions drawn from it as fact, especially when the thing with no size hasn’t even been found yet. I think maybe bosons are angels. I wonder how many of them can dance on the head of a pin. The scientists involved don’t like it, but the Higgs boson is being called the god particle. Perfect. Science is trying to identify and define infinite intelligence. It is trying to reinvent God.
When science starts resorting to unfathomable numbers about CO2 or anything else, it is time for skepticism. I am not going to pretend to believe scientific dogma just because not believing it makes me a sinner. That’s religion.