This is a Two-Part posting. The other part is in the science category.

Now, if you're a member of Think Atheist, you may or may not recall that I posted a question thread on Global Warming because there was something I was ignorant of. I was taught a bit there, which I appreciated.

So why this thread?

I am a fan of Led Zeppelin. Now, this band, as those who are fans know, stayed away from the political scene. They were once asked about the American political climate in the 70's, and I believe it was John Paul Jones who famously gave the short, sweet, and final answer: "We're musicians, not politicians."

So, of course, it's no surprise that you can find Led Zeppelin fans from all political persuasions. However, sometimes you find yourself hoping that, when you are a fan of a band such as Led Zeppelin, you are in good, intelligent company. However, sometimes, that can be proven wrong, such as the case with the following thread on the Official Forum (you will not have to join to see it):

Is it ok to make fun of Global Warming?

(My displayed name on the forum is Nathan, and yes, when I first started posting on that thread, I took the more Conservative view. I am ashamed to admit that I made a few arguments that were idiotic. My move to a more Liberal view of politics [and, as a small result, an acceptance of the science of Climate Change] happened as recently as my deconversion to atheism... within the last 4 or 5 months.)

You will notice an interesting trend on the thread (one I think I may have taken part in myself at first) to confuse weather with climate. It was most obvious on page 16 with post 317. About 9 posts up, I pointed out that climate and weather are two separate things. Post 317 was the response:

-------------------------------
Climate:

n.

1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
2. A region of the earth having particular meteorological conditions: lives in a cold climate.


It's possible to have cold weather in a warming climate, but if you are consistently reaching record lows in a region, then the "climate" is not warming. "Typical weather" of a region is "Climate". Nice try.
-------------------------------

And it's not easy to respond. What saddens me most about it is that what they are reacting to, I think, is not so much the science as it is the politicization of the issue. It's become a political battle which, clearly, has fucked the whole thing up.

(Now, a little later on after that, I did point out that, in my view, Climate Change or not doesn't matter. What does matter is that we live on this planet and it's our job to take care of this planet regardless, because we want to live in a habitat that is habitable... or clean and healthy and can sustain life naturally. The two responses I got to it agreed [although they did point out that it's the politicization they hate], though after that I was largely ignored.)

How do you counter the whole confusing weather with climate thing, especially when the USA is seeing some seriously cold weather right now (even southern Florida saw the low 40's!)? I would like to respond to them, but I don't know how. So I guess I'm asking for help.

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A difficult task, and it isn't just the politizing of the "issue", but the fact that the science community/scientists have so wrongfully become a tentpole in the lobbying circus; as opposed to doing what a disciplined scientist would do, i.e. "here are the facts, peer reviewed and certified as the most correct provisional conclusion ~ take it or leave it."

On the matter of "global warming", it isn't scientific fact at this point. Then with the inclusion of the anthropogenic filter, it becomes even more messy.

Your case in point is too narrow. The Chair of the IPCC announced prior to the Copenhagen summit that the North American continent has been showing a "cooling trend". Europe and North America, along with interesting conditions in Australia, show that the climate situation is anything but certain.

Perhaps that should be a point in any rebuttal; the greatest problem is with widespread lack of knowledge, lack of scientific discipline and the climate of this planet is anything but stable. Geophysicists are quick to point out that the last 13K years on this planet have been generally "boring", from the academic standpoint. Taking into account such events as the Pleistocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum, major and minor Dryus periods, the differences in glacial and interglacial periods, decay of planetary rotation due to solar and lunar tide errosion, and there is mounting evidence that we are entering into the early stages of polar reversal ...

The summation of which should be ... "we don't know with certainty ..."

I understand your point on our poor stewardship of the planet, and agree. The fossil fuel engine is outdated and inefficient, punching more holes in the planet to drain crude for continuing behaviors of denial and avarice is a zero sum game; we need to change. Change founded upon diversity of entrepreneurial drive is, and always has been, the best answer; not government tyrrany and dictatorial mandates as a weakly veiled guise for redistribution of wealth.

Sometimes the best way to win a debate is to open up your adversary with inquiries in a positive frame. What are we doing right? What can we do better? What are our viable alternatives, and are we being responsible and globally communal in our search for better answers?

Will Rogers always had a valuable point; "If you're talking, you ain't learnin'". There is always the opportunity to listen and just pose inquiries based on the responses; the lying in wait approach.

You have options, unless it becomes a fundamentalist approach. Then all you can do is walk away.
The earth may very well be going through a natural cooling stage combated by an unnatural warming brought to you by humans and the natural order is winning out. This may be a short cooling period; a few years, or a long one; a few hundred thousand years. If it is a short cooling period then we will be making a mistake to ignore global warming. If it is a long period then we should look to combat it more with a "greener" terraforming initiative. I believe we need to learn how to control our climate better so we can adjust it to better suit life's needs. The earth hasn't always catered to life after all. Either way we should take care of the earth. Above all else, pollution it is not in the best interest of life.
When you have a fan base as large as that of Led Zeppelin, you are going to get a sizable number of people who disagree on almost any issue. I'm sure there are some Zeppelin fans that think 9/11 was an inside job, some who think Elvis is still alive, some who claim to have been abducted by aliens, etc.

The thing I don't get about the resistance to things that are designed to prevent global warming is that many of these methods are in our best interest anyway. For instance, energy-efficient light bulbs are more cost effective. Developing new sources of fuel reduces America's dependence on oil from the Middle East. Recycling can save money and help reduce deforestation, which is a problem regardless of climate change. Stopping factories from poluting helps improve air quality and may help reduce the instances of cancer.

By the way, Led Zeppelin is the best band ever. \nn/

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