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Global warming or carbon cult? 
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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
Did you guys see this Op-Ed in the WSJ?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... stpop_read

No Need to Panic About Global Warming

There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy.

Editor's Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article:

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming." Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the "pollutant" carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific "heretics" is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere's life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word "incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question "cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.

Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.

If elected officials feel compelled to "do something" about climate, we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.
Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of "incontrovertible" evidence.

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
You sure there's anything to that besides propaganda? It sounds like spin to me, and the list of scientists includes 1 or 2 names that can be considered an expert in the field, the rest are experts in different fields. The statement that global warming is incontrovertible is silly, but seems political more than scientific. If you follow the money, you're lead directly to articles such as this one, funded by a much more influential and zealotous group of businesses who stand to lose nearly everything unless they spread the word that Global Warming is a myth. The oil and coal industries, to name two(are any more needed?) The inherent motive is many times greater than to say that the government wants to raise taxes. Also, saying that "CO2 is not a pollutant" is a red herring. Of course it's not a pollutant, that's not the concern at all. But by bringing it up, it makes it seem as if the article is legitimately dispelling misinformation.

None of us is immune to propaganda. I'm sure there are facts in the article, but I would prefer to look them up myself.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
Besides the statement C02 is not a pollutant, is there anything else in the article that bugs you? I thought it was a fair assessment, although I don't doubt that there's propaganda coming from both sides of the debate. Ultimately this was an Op-Ed, an opinion piece. Do you disagree with any of the following claims:

There has been no significant warming in the last decade.

There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy.

There is pressure for scientists to go along with global warming.

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
geo wrote:
Besides the statement C02 is not a pollutant, is there anything else in the article that bugs you? I thought it was a fair assessment, although I don't doubt that there's propaganda coming from both sides of the debate. Ultimately this was an Op-Ed, an opinion piece. Do you disagree with any of the following claims:
Hi Geo, I disagree with all of it. Below is the scientific response which WSJ printed to show what a disgusting piece of black propaganda this denialist effort really was. The denialist piece says "follow the money". As Homer Simpson might say, d'oh. The big money is with the fossil fuel industry. Comparing scientific grants to the massive scale of Exxon, Mobil, Shell, BP, is like comparing fleas to elephants. And for these fraudsters to compare modern science to Lysenko is pure hypocrisy, depraved and corrupt. The real Lysenkoites are these morons who have to be in the pay of the oil majors to put their names to such bullshit.
Quote:
There has been no significant warming in the last decade.
Here is the chart. A spike in 1998 is part of normal variance. The denialist line is based solely on cherry picking 1998 as the start date. Start in 2000 and the claim is wrong. Oh, and by the way, compare to previous decades.
Image
Quote:
There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy.
CO2 lets light in but doesn't let heat out. The plan is to double CO2 this century under business as usual. This will cook the planet and kill us all.
Quote:
There is pressure for scientists to go along with global warming.
Same as there is "pressure" for scientists to accept all peer reviewed scientific findings. Only idiots and evil frauds deny global warming
Quote:
Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow.
Yea, and the fossil fuel industry is so tiny in funding terms compared to science. Give us a break Geo.

ExxonMobil, one company alone, has a market value of about $500 billion. Now lets compare that to the research funds.
Image
Love that energy research bucket!
And here are the trends: in fiscal year 2007, the federal government’s budget authority for the conduct of R&D totaled $135 billion, slightly less than 1 percent of GDP.Image

Quote:
Here is the response article, which was also published in The Australian.

Expertise a prerequisite to comment on climate
BY: KEVIN TRENBERTH From: The Australian February 03, 2012

DO you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

The opinion piece "Climate change 'heretics' refute carbon dangers" (Wednesday) was the climate-science equivalent of dentists practising cardiology. While accomplished, most of its authors have no expertise in climate science. The few who have are known to hold extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert.

This happens in nearly every field of science. For example, there is a retrovirus expert who does not accept HIV causes AIDS. And it is instructive to recall a few scientists continued to state that smoking did not cause cancer, long after it was settled science.

Climate experts know the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally our planet is getting hotter. And computer models show that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere, typically in the deep ocean. Such periods are relatively common climate phenomena, are consistent with our physical understanding of how the climate system works and certainly do not invalidate our understanding of human-induced warming or the models used to simulate that warming.

Thus, climate experts also know what one of us, Kevin Trenberth, meant by the out-of-context, misrepresented quote used in the opinion piece.

Mr Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean and other aspects of the short-term variations that always occur, together with the long-term human-induced warming trend.

The National Academy of Sciences of the US (set up by Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues) and major national academies of science around the world and every other authoritative body of scientists active in climate research state the science is clear: the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible. Impacts are already apparent and will increase. Reducing future impacts will require significant reductions in emissions.

Research shows more than 97 per cent of scientists actively publishing in the field agree climate change is real and caused by humans. It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks climate change clearly poses.

There is also clear evidence the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.

Kevin Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, La Jolla, California. This piece is supported by 38 other US, European and Australian climate scientists, named below, and originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal:


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
I must say I find Robert's invective gratuitous. It doesn't do anything to advance his cause, rather detracts from what he has to say. Lessen the drama, please. Also, Robert, cf. your discussion with ant. If peer review is the sine qua non for climate, it must be for any academic field.


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Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:11 pm
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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
The two topics are not comparable. There is abundant widespread peer review for the science of global warming. There is almost no peer review for the question of the existence of Jesus Christ, as the research on this topic is ignored.

I simply find it astounding that we are cooking our planet and these jokers can say it does not matter and can compare scientists to Lysenko. That is as bad as holocaust denial.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
Robert Tulip wrote:
Only idiots and evil frauds deny global warming


Robert, lately you seem to be taking an increasingly dogmatic stance on a variety of topics.

As I've said before, I think the evidence clearly shows the earth is warming. To what extent the warming can be attributed to human activities is largely unknown. It's a good guess that it's mostly due to human activities, but the warming could be a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate. Here's a chart from NASA.

Image

The last 10 years is an absurd time frame when considering global trends. If temperatures had cooled by .2 degrees, it would have been equally irrelevant. Why the writer of this piece does bring up the last 10 years is that some scientists have predicted certain climate feedback loops that are supposed to cause a dramatic rise in global temperatures. This dramatic rise didn't happen and climatologists can't explain why. We simply don't have sufficient data to state with certainty how much warming will take place and how much of it is caused by humans. The unknowns of global warming clearly outweigh the knowns and a certain amount of skepticism doesn't seem that unreasonable, especially with regard to actions we take to "de-carbon" the atmosphere.

I thought this Op-Ed piece was significant only because it questions some of the major assumptions about global warming, and it appeared in a major newspaper. Interbane suggests, and Robert seconds it, that this Op-Ed piece and others like it are propaganda funded by the oil and coal industries. That's a pretty serious accusation. Is there any evidence of that?

Certainly there are ideological fringe positions on both side of the equation. These days it's become such a polarized issue that objectivity is hard to come by.

I don't deny global warming and maybe you and I aren't that far apart when it comes to assessing what science can conclude with reasonable confidence about the global warming trend and its probable causes. I suspect where we really disagree is in what to do about it. I would tend to agree with the writer of the Op-Ed piece that there's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy. On the other hand this statement is so vague to be almost meaningless. To continue this conversation we would have to specify what actions are being proposed because that's where I get very skeptical. On the other hand, if we could find a way to drastically reduce carbon emissions, I would be enthusiastic about that. So what are these solutions? How much do they cost? And will they work?

Also, after explaining my position, do you still consider me the equivalent of a holocaust denier?


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
Geo, you haven't endorsed the comment in the WSJ article that compared climate scientists to the fraudulent Russian biologist Lysenko, which is the sort of language that bears some similarity to other flagrant denial of scientific and historical reality.

There are two big related issues here which get conflated, as I see it. Firstly there is the question of whether the planet is warming. Secondly, there is the question of what to do about it. What seems to be happening in the public debate is that proposals for big change in the world economy have been raised as a way to mitigate climate change and adapt to it, especially through the UN conference processes of the international panel on climate change. Because vested interests don't like these proposals for economic change, they argue that the factual scientific observations behind them are baseless. The power of vested interests means that scientists who support the 'do nothing' stance readily get publicity way beyond the merits of their argument.

My view is that the physics of global warming is quite simple, in the observation that CO2 and methane are greenhouse gasses. The overwhelming weight of peer reviewed science in support of the proposition that doubling CO2 this century will warm the planet is incontrovertible, as the American National Academy of Sciences puts it.

Where you have such a strong evidence-based consensus, you have to question the motives of those who dispute it. I actually think much of the like-minded opposition to the scientific findings arises from people who like being contrarian by nature, and find that these sentiments are what people want to hear, so they can rapidly get a high public profile. It is probably more a confluence of interest than direct collusion, but the results are the same. The energy companies create a public environment where denialist comments are easy to promote, simply through their economic and political dominance.

So I would backtrack from my statement that the denialists would have to be in the pay of the oil majors. I think it is enough that the oil majors create a climate of opinion where sticking your head in the sand gets a big pat on the back. A paycheck would be too crude and unnecessary when these useful idiots will work for free.

Geo said "The unknowns of global warming clearly outweigh the knowns". The knowns include how CO2 and methane function as greenhouse gasses, the accelerating rate at which these gasses are increasing way faster than any time in planetary history, the rising temperature trends over the last century, the migration of animals and plants, and the close correlation between CO2 and temperature in the ice core record over the last million years.

Put these together, and the extrapolation is a rise of global temperature by four degrees celsius this century, equal to a raging planetary fever. To say this scientific extrapolation from abundant corroborated data is outweighed by "unknowns" as to when and where tipping points may occur is foolhardy in the extreme, like ignoring the symptoms of meningitis.

I'm happy to take a dogmatic stance on this topic because it is the biggest moral issue of our time. It is tragic that the ethics of science, with its proper caution and uncertainty, enables a refusal of commitment that is fueling the biggest ever avoidable extinction event on our planet.

The quality of debate about climate response is weak. There really is very little public discussion, with people just falling into polarised camps with very little in the way of practical strategies. My view, despite my willingness to demonise the energy industry, is that it is essential to work within the framework of the existing economy, and there is nowhere near enough attention to how to do this.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
This is one of the better articles about the global warming debate I have seen. The author asks two important questions: 1) what actual proposition do the 97% of climate scientists agree with? And, what are the deniers denying?

There's probably much more overlap than both "sides" realize.

Unfortunately, most conversations about global warming don't get very far because, as the author says, the two sides aren't even talking about the same thing. It doesn't help that skeptics are compared to Holocaust deniers (or that those who accept global warming are a "carbon cult"). It's hard to have a rational discussion when ideological trenches are being dug.

The article is definitely worth reading. I would paste the text here, but it contains a lot of charts. So here's the link:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer ... ate/print/


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
i had to remove the /print/ from the end of the link to get to the article...which i enjoyed.

oh that's weird it's working with the /print/ now

:)



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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
The way I see it, I won't be confident with any conclusion I arrive at unless I devoted a large chunk of my spare time to researching and investigating. An entire second job's worth of time and effort. The waters have been so muddied, that even after you get a good understanding of every point to be made, and all the evidence, there is still the fact that the Climate investigation is still relatively in it's infancy.

So a heuristic. Make as close to a zero net sum change to the environment as you can. All the time when messing with natural systems, people make things worse. This is a fact. The resulting unintended consequences are usually of the level that if applied to an entire world, would be catastrophic. I would say that even if no evidence for global warming existed, we would still be justified in having policies to limit or eliminate pollution, including carbon as a primary concern.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
For a scientific discussion of the Wall Street Journal Article, see http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/ ... ngs_an.php

The political polarisation around global warming is steadily worsening. I read the Forbes essay. It is superbly crafted to be plausible, but is utterly biased against science.

The key error in it to my reading, apart from all the spurious doubt about evidence, was the assertion that fixing the climate would be expensive. I disagree with that completely. What we need to do is work out efficient ways to tap the massive energy available from non-fossil sources. Once we do that we have a platform for stable economic growth.

The fossil fuel paradigm is a path to hell.


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Post Why the Global Warming Skeptics are Wrong
gang of denialists in WSJ wrote:
A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls.

Professor Nordhaus has now refuted this trashing of his reputation by the Wall Street Oilrag, writing a freely available cover story for the latest issue of the New York Review of Book.

At http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... are-wrong/
William Nordhaus wrote:
My response is primarily designed to correct their misleading description of my own research; but it also is directed more broadly at their attempt to discredit scientists and scientific research on climate change. I have identified six key issues that are raised in the article, and I provide commentary about their substance and accuracy. They are:
1 Is the planet in fact warming?
2 Are human influences an important contributor to warming?
3 Is carbon dioxide a pollutant?
4 Are we seeing a regime of fear for skeptical climate scientists?
5 Are the views of mainstream climate scientists driven primarily by the desire for financial gain?
6 Is it true that more carbon dioxide and additional warming will be beneficial?

As I will indicate below, on each of these questions, the sixteen scientists provide incorrect or misleading answers. At a time when we need to clarify public confusions about the science and economics of climate change, they have muddied the waters. I will describe their mistakes and explain the findings of current climate science and economics.

... the loss from waiting is $4.1 trillion

... The claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis. We need to approach the issues with a cool head and a warm heart. And with respect for sound logic and good science.


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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
Could we be still emerging from the Little Ice Age? And couldn't that account for our current warming trend?

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-art ... d-evidence

Interesting that we don't really have a consensus about what the Little Ice Age was or how long it lasted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age.

A Paleo perspective on Abrupt Climate Change (from the National Climatic Data Center - part of NOAA)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data2.html

Quote:
At this point, we know that abrupt climate change is a reality. It has happened before and will happen again. How and why it happened in the past are still open questions, as are how, why, and when it might happen in the future.


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Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Global warming or carbon cult?
As ive said before and ALMOST everyone here can admit to, chaotic systems are notoriously difficult to assign predictions too. Our climate is a chaotic system, of course.

Here's a little piece on it:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... j98D2S9LTo

Modeling chaotic systems is incredibly difficult.
people like Robert disseminate only the data that bolsters their agenda.
Ive made a similar point about Robert's mythicist belief.

One of his claims was that oeer review is absent in relation to the historical Christ because the scholars that support the historical evidence are all in on it.
Gotta love conspiracy theories that make your theories fact.

But i too am for a substantial decrees of the filth we toss into the atmosphere


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“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:39 pm
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