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?

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Bogus ‘consensus’ Researchers debunk a myth cited by global warming skeptics that a cooling climate consensus existed in the 1970s (SN: 10/25/08, p. 5).

I wasn't able to access the article online.
A quick glance at Wikipedia shows an even-handed debunking of the 1975 "global cooling" nonsense. But Larry and equinox aren't actually interested in getting at the truth, are they?
You're confused again, Larry. The 99% figure was not mine, but Howard's or TNT's, I believe.

Anyhow, as you are so fond of pointing out, science isn't a question of putting an issue to a vote, so it doesn't matter that an overwhelming majority agrees with the consensus, but it just as equally holds that a significant minority disagreeing with the consensus is also irrelevant. The bottom line is that the deniers are only in the business of trashing the real scientists. The deniers have no more plausible explanation for what we see happening, or any explanation at all. They just don't want to believe the straightforward explanation in front of them, so they complain it isn't compelling. They follow the same method that creationists do.
If you reread my post, I DID give you the issue.
Yet you still leapt to the conclusion that Susan was in the wrong and heaped abuse on her. You're a class act, Larry.
I asked for bullet points - not even corroboration.

My bullets:

- CO2 is an insulator in the atmosphere - without it we would freeze to death
- Human industry - especially the burning of fossil fuels - is rapidly and massively increasing the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere
- Plants turn CO2 into plant materials like wood, fruit, leaves, nuts, roots, etc. and human activitity has massively reduced the forests, especially the density and diversity, of the world
- Even if the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere is not, entirely man-made - it is occuring nonetheless
- Even if we can't stop it by reducing our energy use and using more energy like solar and wind, the air, water and food supply will be cleaner and safer to consume the less fossil fuels we burn
- If we reduce the use of oil, we reduce the amount of money that many theocracies as well as terrorists groups require to continue their horrible regimes and campaigns
- If we reduce the use of oil, we reduce the reasons to fight over control of that resource and war is reduced
- Since war is a major cause of famine, famine is alleviated
- Since once oil, coal and natural gas are burned up they are no longer available to burn for energy and their supplies are finite, we are going to, eventually, run out
- If we are going to eventually have to find other forms of energy, why not work hard on that now and focus on energy that won't run out - like wind and solar, etc.

I could go on. All I was asking is for one person to make a list of the downside of doing something about GW as opposed to the upside of doing something about it as I have done here
Selective memory at best, Larry. You seem to forget the dozens of links we have provided for you.
Larry, you really are ridiculously credulous with respect to the deniers' web sites and claims. Why aren't you the teensiest bit skeptical about them? I mean, holy shit, you're relying on Michael Crichton? Why do you point your gimlet eye only at the legitimate scientists? I realize armchair psychoanalysis is often off the mark, but your bedrock distrust of authority has really led you astray here.

As you wish. Yet another link to raw data. Not that hard to find, really. But then, neither are the flaws in the deniers' arguments and presentations. You just have to be willing to look for them.
You DON'T need to be reading individual studies, you need to see the global picture. Out of thousands of climate scientists on this planet, 99% are in agreement on 95% of the subject matter.

That 1% of scientists who "claim" to have "issues" with the whole concept mostly have funding biases. You have to understand that scientists in academia live pretty meagerly. Their research depends part government funding and part corporate funding.

Now I for example worked in an amphibian lab at university. Out of the 9 students with this supervisor, one was corporately funded, by Monsanto. Not surprisingly, her data suggested pesticides had NO impact on frog development. The reason was the experimental model, its structure did not deal with long term or various development stages and realistic levels of contamination, yet it got published as "no significant effect".

You MUST distinguish between good science and bad science. The instant corporations put their dirty money in science, you get bad science.

On the topic of climate, scientific method requires that you understand not only the physics of any given issue, but also the funding and intention behind these studies. Putting all studies on an equally weighted footing is not critical thinking. There is no financial bias/intention behind climate science outside petrochemical and status quo infrastructure who finance the denial side with bad science.

No amount of individual "studies" can enlighten you on these matters. You either understand how science research is motivated and funded or you don't. So I suggest instead of reading miscellaneous "studies", go out and buy yourself any book dealing with the effects of loss of public funding and the increase in corporate funding on university research.

Then you may be able to better distinguish between one side and the other, good science and bad science.
Yes indeed, global perspective instead of detail analysis. I stand by this. Details obsession is the same debating method religious people use to contradict science.

You are not a climatologist, I am not a climatologist, so for us to debate the fine details that naysayers are dragging about is presumptuous. The little details on which we have not the expertise to ascertain, other than comparing INTENT. As a biologist what I am certain of is that many animal species are suffering and disappearing due to our changing climate. What my earth science friends say about climate change is in line with what biologists observe in the field at the biosphere level. If we had an intact planet, populations could just migrate, but in our broken up environment, they can't, so my intent is to limit climate change in order to protect all lifeforms.

IMO opinion, the best way to understand this issue is to talk to the actual academics doing the research, NOT FOX, nor media in general nor the internet, nor pop science magazines. There are simply too many scientific fields to be able to keep fully versed in them all, and frankly those who claim to have that degree of scientific expertise (on either side) without being in that field per se I find highly suspicious. I rely on talking with people who actually study/work in that field at the university level.

You may not like my "method" but it is the scientific way.

These people are mostly in agreement, that's my experience. I'm a perpetual student, and one should always choose to learn "up" not "down" on the quality scale.
I don't even know why I got into this chat with you as you have no honesty in your debating, you just twist things completely beyond any sense of logic.

I'll side with the clear majority on this one (and no they don't agree with me, I agree with them).
That's OK, Larry. We don't like your rants, either. Especially when they ignore the information we do provide, or disparage us for trivial reasons, or spew unwarranted inflammatory remarks.

I'll refer you again to realclimate.org, though leading a horse to water doesn't always pay off. And just to give you a heads up, every one of the links that equinox has posted uses dubious methods, when they're not outright lying. You seem fond of playing "spot the logical fallacy". You should try it on equinox's sites. It's a target-rich environment.

I've said it to equinox and I'll say it to you. You seem to be skeptical about everything but the climate skeptic. Your distrust of authority does not serve you well in your research. It is as much a mistake to reject arguments from authority uncritically as it is to accept them uncritically.

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