Back In The U.S.of A. (Waters that is)

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 17 Sep 2007 22:43
Noon Position: 41 03.0 N 070 34.2 W
Course: 243 Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: Northeast 18 knots
Distance sailed: 111 miles
Ave Speed: 4.6 knots

In the last 24 hours we have started to pick up the pace a little. A nice
big high pressure system is sitting over New England and directing a very
welcome northeast flow over our part of the world. We closed the coast of
Nantucket Island early this morning wing on wing with the wind right aft,
rounding Tom Nelson Head, the southeast corner of Nantucket Island, at 6.20
a.m. and are now still wing on wing with the wind right behind us but now
freshened to a very nice 18 knots or so (I'm guessing a little here as old
Sylph sports no wind instruments apart from a piece of string hung from the
shrouds). The forecast has the wind holding form the northeast until
Wednesday which will be just about perfect.

Global Warming Stuff:

As promised I am working to further the debate, in my own head at least.
Currently I am reviewing the three main books I have on board on the
subject, namely Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth, Singer and Avery's
"Unstoppable Global Warming", and Flannery's "The Weather Makers". I figure
I will try for a synthesis of these three books and then see which issues
will be the most rewarding for further research.

Now this is not proving easy. Here is a statement form Al Gore's book:

"There is a misconception that the scientific community is in a state of
disagreement about whether global warming is real, whether human beings are
the principle cause, and whether its consequences are so dangerous as to
warrant immediate action. In fact there is virtually no serious
disagreement remaining on any of these central points that make up the
consensus view of the world scientific community." p261.

Gore then refers to a study done by a Dr. Naomi Oreskes of the University of
California where she selected a random sample of every peer reviewed science
journal article on global warming from the previous 10 years. Apparently
she found that none expressed any doubt as to the cause of global warming.
On the other hand in a random sample of articles taken from four respected
newspapers over the past 14 years 53% expressed doubt as to the cause. p262.

And here is a statement from Singer's book:

"There is no 'scientific consensus', as global warming advocates often
claim. Nor is consensus important to science." p6.

Now Singer is a climate physicist, professor emeritus at the University of
Virginia amongst other things, and has published peer reviewed papers, and
Avery is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute (I know nothing about this
establishment). This bears further investigation and while an appeal to
authority is a weak basis for an argument, in complex issues such as this
where much is beyond the layperson's ability to fathom, then it becomes more

And I definitely think Singer and Avery have a point, science is not a
democracy, just ask Galileo what he thought of the consensus view of his
time. Nor should I think are the newspapers looking for a representative
view when trying to provide balance in journalism, often it is the small
voice that is the one that needs to be heard the most. So this leaves you
and me (is anyone else with me here?) trying to sift through the arguments
and decide upon a reasonable point of view and course of action. But such
are the responsibilities of democracy and freedom and who am I to shirk such
hard earned privileges. (Also currently reading Harriet Beecher Stowes'
"Uncle Tom's Cabin", for my non-American readers Beecher was greeted by
Lincoln as "the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." -
referring to the American Civil War. Great book.)

More tomorrow.