I have recently become aware of two camps of thought with regard to global warming/climate change, niether one relating to religion vs science. On one side is the internationally recognized theory of rapid devastating change and on the other a token uncertainty of the actual changes occuring in terms of what effects we may be facing and how quickly they will emerge.
As a "regular sort" I don't really know a lot of the science involved with our changing conditions and so I guess that puts me in between the two in this arguement. They both have very valid points and the answer to this riddle is important- so what do you all think?
You're so full of it, Larry. The people who disparage RealClimate.org are the same denialist assholes who have been hounding legitmate scientists for years. Not surprising that they'd continue their campaign of anti-scientific harassment. It is surprising that anybody with a brain in their head would buy that crap. Or somehow get suckered into believing that ClimateAudit.org or wattsupwiththat.com are in any way trustworthy.
But again, Larry, the data links on RealClimate.org go directly to government agency databases that the people at RealClimate have no control over. Don't be afraid of the fact that the links are hosted conveniently on RealClimate.org. Just click on the links to go to non-RealClimate.org web-sites. You do know how the internet works, right? If you don't trust organizations like NASA or NOAA, then you're just going to have to go stick a thermometer up the earth's ass yourself, because those are the agencies collecting the data.
And one last time. Just not ever trusting anybody at all is not skepticism. It is cynicism. There is a difference. Look it up. I'm sure you know how to use a dictionary.
As in most discussion-boards, you "Americans" are again debating about global themes, as if you and your precious little nation are the only ones on earth; have you ever mentioned, that most of the other nations on this planet are (so is said) fighting against humankind induced GW for quite a time now ? That many other nations and their citizens have seen this threat for mankind and the importance of uniting against for the future of mankind for a decade before, and that no Non-American gives a damn for your beloved "conspiracy theory", `cause there is some kind of international concern, as shown, for example, in the "Kyoto Protocols", which, I have to add sadly, your government denied to sign ? We all share the same planet, you know, and you can´t go elsewhere, or declare war on anyone, as well as some people can wipe their asses with their amassed dollar-bills, if GW really will break down on us.
You could learn a lot from European countries about the use of, for example, common use of alternative and replenishable energy, like solar-, wind- or tide-driven or biological powerplants, and, even if I´m not well informed on this one, from China and other Asian countries as well.
While the States represent only 1/16 or so of overall population, but producing 1/3 of overall pollution and emission, you should better be leading in the worldwide fighting off, instead of argueing for "not sure about" or "conspiracy, because Al Gore (the man is simply trying to pull his weight as a former vice-president and public person in the States)...", while the majority of the world is strictly clear about the facts. Moaning obout taxes ? How high will the taxes go up, if you have to deal with your coastal regions being flooded, due to GW ? Some changes in bevaviour, habits and economy ? Any thoughts about the changes in need, if we don´t stop GW now (or, as a first step, slow it down, at least) ? Science or our children will find a way to deal with ? Well, maybe, but the longer we proceed in todays behaviour, the harder to find solutions tomorrow...
End of discussion. Go ahead, and explain it to your children (or the neighbour´s ones, if you don´t have some)...if you still live then !
Like it or not - the U.S. is a lynchpin in this discussion and, if you read here, most of us in this discussion are quite aghast at our own country's general lack of understanding and approach to crisis. But, you might also notice that there is a Canadian flag (ironically) associated with the biggest jackass statements made here.
I, personally, am a dual citizen (Canada & U.S.) - have lived in Belgium and Switzerland as well, gone to 2 International schools and maintain correspondence with friends from India to South America to Europe. I also support my company's good will efforts (substantial) in East Africa.
Americans do, generally, consider themselves at the cener of the universe. And, collectively, our IQ has gone down in recent decades. But, it is also true, that this is the most generous country in the history of the world. The Marshall plan was unprecedented and Germany and Japan are now two of the strongest economies and our close allies. Go figure.
Americans do, generally, consider themselves at the center of the universe.
In you guys's defense, although that may reflect the actuality, the causes may not be as they may seem. I suspect that if there were better education at the elementary and highschool levels, the global awareness of the USers would be much better. Also demographically, being third in size and first in military puts one in a tower mindset, I don't really see how it could be otherwise.
I definitely agree that there are real reasons why we Americans are as we are. For one thing, when I lived in Europe, we went to a different country several times a year.
Meanwhile, for the past ten years, I have lived in New Jersey and worked in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. If you projected just my commute directions and distances from the various homes I've lived in, and centered them on Brussels, for example, I could have worked in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and France. That's four (and a half) cultures and three languages.
So, while there are certainly cultural differences of a sort, even an American who has traveled extensively within the United States and Canada does not have the same experience by a mile of someone who has traveled similar distances in Europe in terms of cultural diversity, etc.
BTW - I drive a Corolla mostly on the highway (36 mpg or approx. 15.25km/l) and/or took a bus and subway train. My emissions are relatively low. But that is a problem with the MidAtlantic states - commute distances are ridiculous if you need to be accessible to, for example, both the Philadelphia and NYC markets - as I do.
P.S. Today I vote to cover my child's highschool with solar panels. I hope we win. The State of New Jersey is covering 40% and we (local taxpayers) will cover the rest in a bond.
No doubt TNT. Though I'm not sure of all of the methods, there are a lot of people who do not want us to know much about the world outside of US and these same people want us to be largely ignorant to science and math. Why would anyone want to suppress knowledge of world history, high science, and mathamatics? The public highschool I went to had ONE world history class- just one. In order to take this class (I am not making this up) you had to complete a Basics of Theology class and all other history classes (3 year long american histories, one semester on economics and one semester on "government."). Oh yes, and you had to have gotten an A in the basics of theology class which, surprise-surprise, was based around christianity and taught by a pastor.
And this type of situation may contribute to the current debate. Although people may 'choose' to throw away gawd, that is but one action. IMO it's a much more difficult task to throw away all the indoctrination and biased viewpoints that came with that private Xtian education.
I got lucky, I was allowed to take 2 years of morality after finally being released from my catechism classes (back in the day of church run public schools. The morality content was not so much lessons as questionings, which meshed perfectly with my science courses.
The US did not invent pollution!? Pollution has been around for as long as populations have beeen overpopulating in consideration of their accessible resources, the Romans killed their environment, the Incas did it, the Easter Islanders did it, more recently the Brits were a major cause with their factory processes and mass production.
Canada is no different than the US on this matter, we've sold nuclear reactors to idiot (politically) countries with no garanteed longterm contract! We are the largest exporters of potash, subsidised grain, and not to talk of our tar sands, even our hydroelectricity isn't as clean as government likes to say (massive loss of CO2 absorption from deforestation). Canada has nothing on the US on the environmental front, nothing at all. We are poorer, drive older and more polluting cars, have much less access to public transit (because of lack of pop density).
It would be nice if Canada took an environmental high ground around the world, as Trudeau (even tho I mostly hated him) did in decades past with peace troups. The world neads leadership and charisma on this issue, but Harper wouldn't recognize that opportunity for future commerce and honour if it bit him in the As.s. The Chinese are going to beat everyone to that future technology, and we'll all just miss the boat.
Let me say my meaculpa, I'm from Québec, but now live in Northern Canada, and even without religious zealousness, we still have plenty of AGW deniers. What can we expect when our richest province does so on the back of the dirtiest possible tar sands and another largest export is potash. Thankfully Canada is a small population and our inaction on energy and climate issues, compared to the USA is less consequential, yuk :(
Nevertheless, AGW denying reminds me so much of religious circular logic and fake arguments, I can barely stand it. Unfortunately atheism does not always include reasoned critical thinking.
Modern Europe has more experience with secular life. Us colonies fled Europe for persecution, and haven't improved upon that... :)
My basic answer to that is that the funding is more relevant than the DETAILS of the scientific debate. One needs only to have open eyes to understand the different biases behind research funding. What bias do academics have, usually none. I trust academia before any corporate funding.
The same can be said for the very few scientists who say that clear-cutting forests is OK. It's not OK, but the scientists stating that BS are those funded by forestry interests. Science is all about funding.
Same as the Japanese whale meat eaters scientists manage to produce research which says that whale populations are fine. They are not, but their bad science taints the world view.