Saturday, June 03, 2006

Partying With Scientists

As heretofore mentioned, my son Brian (17) and I are attending a Global Warming Conference. The promise of this conference, put on by the Skeptics Society, is a presentation of both sides of the issue. To that end they have assembled a very impressive list of scientists and pundits which we will be hearing from today. We will report, probably ad nauseum, on our take of things.

Last night we were entertained by the producer and one of the stars of Mythbusters, the very popular Discovery Channel program that sets out to scientifically prove or disprove popular urban legends. For instance, they tackled the question of whether a bullet fired from inside a plane through the skin of a fully pressurized airliner would blow a giant hole in the plane, with passengers and anything else not tied down sucked out into space. Nope. This was a highly entertaining and funny hour.

Of great interest to both Brian and me was the confirmation of the stereotype of scientists as God mocking liberals. Roy Zimmerman, a very talented comedian, singer, satirist, provide a second hour of entertainment last night. We laughed in spite of ourselves as he parodied every conservative and religious leader he could think of. But the parodies, while funny, belittled and attempted to marginalize those who didn't think like Roy. To a certain extent, this is what one expects from satire, but it was pretty over-the-top. Brian was pretty sure this guy would be "Left Behind."

On the other hand, we ate our meal with an Astronomer who shared many of our views. We didn't talk religion (he was from Iran, and might well have been Muslim.) However, he clearly agreed with me that the global warming scaremongers are way out ahead of themselves, and that the sun is probably doing the lion's share of any warming that is taking place. He talked about the planets self-healing mechanisms, and thought mankind should be looking towards adaptation, not attempting to slow or stop the climatic changes.

He found that his opinions put him in a tiny minority. The fact that he is politically just to the right of center meant that his peers saw him as quite the odd duck. I may report more about this fellow later. He had very interesting things to say.

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