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Global Warming Fact or Fiction
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Valanasia
Mon Jan 30 2012, 03:06AM
Officer

Registered Member #28
Joined: Fri Sep 14 2007, 08:42PM
Posts: 1240
On the article, I personally do not have the evidence or scientific background to declare this subject "incontrovertible".

My gut tells me that there is some reasonableness to the notion of global warming, and that some of our technological advancements since the Industrial Revolution could carry consequences that were not fully vetted at their time of their discovery and implementation.

My gut also tells me that it's almost midnight and time for a Taco Bell run.

Have we reached the critical mass of factors, including combustion rates, population growth, and alteration of the chemical balance in the atmosphere, to effect a rise in "average surface temperature"? Possibly, but I have absolutely no idea. I leave those analyses to the learned who specialize in such matters.

Unfortunately, it appears that the lay public is caught in the middle of a scientific pissing contest among the "learned specialists". Both sides appear to have arrived at reasonable, yet mutually exclusive, conclusions. So which side is right?

One could "follow the money", as the author suggests (a point I find incredibly ironic in his piece, given that his own side would certainly benefit the more conservative audience of the WSJ). But doing so does nothing to ascertain the facts or truth about the earth's surface temperature or the cause of such facts, and is a sophist tactic used to discredit the opposing side of a debate in the court of public opinion (which is not the source from where I prefer scientific knowledge to originate).

What is the truth? Short of going back to school, earning advanced degrees in science and conducting my own research to determine what conclusions to draw, I am forced to rely on those same "learned specialists" who have demonstrated what I see as a breach in their integrity.

I hold scientists to a very high standard of integrity because I expect them to determine the truth of how the world works on behalf of the lay public. Scientific debate is healthy and expected; captious or fallacious rhetoric aimed at swaying the public is not healthy when the stakes are truth and knowledge. Scientists should leave this kind of rhetoric to government officials, lest they suffer the same credibility fate.

For reference, a fair depiction of my standard of scientific integrity can be found in the movie Contact:

Source: [link]

wrote ...

Senator: You come to us with no evidence, no record, no artifacts. Only a story that, to put it mildly, strains credibility... Are you really going to sit there and tell us that we should just take this all on faith?
Ellie Arroway: Is it possible that it didn't happen? Yes. . . . As a scientist I must concede that. I must volunteer that.
Michael Kitz: Then why don't you simply withdraw your testimony and admit that this journey to the center of the galaxy, in fact, never took place?
Ellie Arroway: Because I can't. I had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision of the universe that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how ... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves, that we are not — that none of us — are alone! ... I wish I could share that. I wish, that everyone, if only for one moment, could feel that awe, and humility, and hope! But ... that continues to be my wish.


So, what do I think of the article? I think the scientists involved in this debate need to refocus their efforts on arriving at a fact base and conclusion set that the best minds in the world can point to and generally agree is correct, and stop spending time debating the issue in a kangaroo court.

/soapbox

[ Edited Mon Jan 30 2012, 03:12AM ]
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Wilfbrimer
Mon Jan 30 2012, 07:37AM
Hunk
Registered Member #353
Joined: Sat Jul 16 2011, 06:49PM
Posts: 824
Agreed, I guess the reason I have such an issue is the virtol that supports heap on "doubters". Well and I also remember when I was a kid these same people saying we where going into and ICE age. Then there is the Carbon Exchanges, lot of money there. And my biggest concern Bill Meyer supports it.

[ Edited Mon Jan 30 2012, 07:41AM ]


I shots stuffs.
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Lhivera
Mon Jan 30 2012, 07:48AM
Registered Member #102
Joined: Tue Dec 11 2007, 12:30PM
Posts: 278
Valanasia wrote ...
Unfortunately, it appears that the lay public is caught in the middle of a scientific pissing contest among the "learned specialists". Both sides appear to have arrived at reasonable, yet mutually exclusive, conclusions. So which side is right?


The vast majority of scientists within the relevant disciplines agree that it's pretty much a settled matter. The "controversy" is happening pretty much exclusively within the media -- within the scientific community, there really isn't a controversy anymore. Same deal as evolution. The illusion of controversy is supported by a couple of factors:

1) Much of the media is afraid of appearing biased, and believes that the solution to this is to present both sides with equal weight, regardless of how much each side actually deserves. If 99% of scientists support one side of a question, and 1% support the other side, that adds a lot of weight to the first side. But the media will tend to give you one spokesperson for each side, giving the illusion that the supporters on each side are relatively balanced.

2) The media likes controversy. Controversy is interesting. They have little interest in ending it, which doesn't exactly motivate them to point out that the people on one side of the issue are basically in the fringe within the field.

There was a time when climate change skepticism made sense, but that time is long gone. Since the late 1980's, the preponderance of evidence has consistently come in on one side, and the scientific consensus has consistently grown stronger.
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Lhivera
Mon Jan 30 2012, 02:47PM
Registered Member #102
Joined: Tue Dec 11 2007, 12:30PM
Posts: 278
Heh: "The wrongiest wrong ever wronged": [link]
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Valanasia
Mon Jan 30 2012, 05:16PM
Officer

Registered Member #28
Joined: Fri Sep 14 2007, 08:42PM
Posts: 1240
Excellent points, Lhiv. What gave me pause is some of the names and titles of folks listed at the end of the piece. Perhaps they signed only on the principle of anything in science being "incontrovertible", and were misled as to the use of their endorsement. Perhaps they fully back all of the statements in the article. Whatever the case, those seem to be some kings/queens/dukes/other royalty of some pretty well-known hills to have their names associated with such a piece to be "generally accepted".

By the way, I do tend to believe we need to do something to mitigate the impact of our actions on the environment. That just makes good sense to me, regardless of what science says.

Also, please note that I know we have several respected members of the science community among us. My comments regarding integrity were only aimed at those who have resorted to tactics more often used by lawyers and politicians than by scientists. In general, my faith in our caretakers of truth and scientific discovery is unchanged before and after this article.

Keep up the good fight, gang!
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Braegan
Mon Jan 30 2012, 09:05PM

Registered Member #290
Joined: Wed Jun 02 2010, 09:09PM
Posts: 714
For me.

I think it's horrendously arrogant to believe that our actions have no consequence on any grand scale. Global warming can take a walk, but I know for a fact that Humankind has made a huge impact on the environment in general. We can only in good conscience make decisions which will positively impact the world that our children and theirs will inherit.

That being said, I find it even more ridiculously arrogant to think that our world does not focus on balance at its very core. For light, there is dark. For heat, there is cold. If a subtropical region experiences an odd decade of lower than average temperatures you can bet that there's a temperate region that's frigging baking.

I think that's what all these studies are pointing to, really. That no matter where the new hot spots are, there are cool spots to balance them. This world, should you believe it created by Chaos or an aspect of God, is perfectly capable of balancing itself around itself. We are insignificant in the end, regardless of our high opinions of ourselves.

Which leads me to believe that, in the end, if we push hard enough the world and all its forces will push back and we will see a reboot of life on this planet. Maybe give the bugs a shot at evolution and see how they fare.
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Lhivera
Mon Jan 30 2012, 11:55PM
Registered Member #102
Joined: Tue Dec 11 2007, 12:30PM
Posts: 278
wrote ...

Excellent points, Lhiv. What gave me pause is some of the names and titles of folks listed at the end of the piece. Perhaps they signed only on the principle of anything in science being "incontrovertible", and were misled as to the use of their endorsement. Perhaps they fully back all of the statements in the article. Whatever the case, those seem to be some kings/queens/dukes/other royalty of some pretty well-known hills to have their names associated with such a piece to be "generally accepted".


Well, as Phil Plait put it (in the piece I linked above):

wrote ...
The WSJ OpEd makes a lot of hay from having 16 scientists sign it, but of those only 4 are actually climate scientists. And that bragging right is crushed to dust when you find out that the WSJ turned down an article about the reality of global warming that was signed by 255 actual climate scientists. In fact, as Media Matters reports, more of the signers of the WSJ OpEd have ties to oil interests than actually publish peer-reviewed climate research.
Shame on the WSJ for publishing that nonsense.


(Emphasis mine.)

Plait himself is not a climate scientist (he's an astronomer, and a notable figure in the skeptical movement), but his piece contains links to work from people who are, including the article that the WSJ turned down.

[ Edited Mon Jan 30 2012, 11:56PM ]
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Lhivera
Tue Jan 31 2012, 12:04AM
Registered Member #102
Joined: Tue Dec 11 2007, 12:30PM
Posts: 278
Braegan wrote ...

I think that's what all these studies are pointing to, really. That no matter where the new hot spots are, there are cool spots to balance them. This world, should you believe it created by Chaos or an aspect of God, is perfectly capable of balancing itself around itself. We are insignificant in the end, regardless of our high opinions of ourselves.

Which leads me to believe that, in the end, if we push hard enough the world and all its forces will push back and we will see a reboot of life on this planet. Maybe give the bugs a shot at evolution and see how they fare.


Well, the first part, not so much, but the latter part, yes. "Balance" happens on geological timescales, not in a minute-to-minute hot-there-is-balanced-by-cold-there sort of way. All these studies are pointing to an increase in average global temperature over a long period of time.

But, yes, ultimately, we're only threatening ourselves and other complex life, not the planet or life as a whole. The horseshoe crab has been around for 300 million years or so. The dragonfly, or something like it, has been around about 320 million years. If we wind up gone, something else will get its shot.

ETA: Horseshoe crabs scare the shit out of me, incidentally.

[ Edited Tue Jan 31 2012, 12:06AM ]
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Totemat
Thu Feb 02 2012, 12:37PM

Registered Member #234
Joined: Sun May 03 2009, 08:55PM
Posts: 1093
[quote]
Just read the following and found it interesting what yall think.

[link]
[/quote1328204238]

It is 50 degrees in Detroit, MI on 2/1/12, need I say more?!
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Wilfbrimer
Thu Feb 02 2012, 12:52PM
Hunk
Registered Member #353
Joined: Sat Jul 16 2011, 06:49PM
Posts: 824
not sure what you mean by that tote but its 77 degrees in Corozal and it's normal 90 this time of year.


I shots stuffs.
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