The Sad Truth About Global Warming

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I, too, hate how various politics get wrapped up in absolutely everything. It means I can't take what anyone says at face value, either, because they are probably ignorant or lying about their position, and get hostile for needing to clarify it. Everyone has some sort of agenda, and nobody can be trusted, even in small, everyday things.

I'm so burnt out on politics. So tired of all the phony bullshit and mind games.

Razhem:
I'm in the camp that believes that the whole global warming things is overly exaggerated to insane degrees for political and monetary gains.

The good thing about science is that it exists regardless of whether or not you believe in it.

When science is held hostage to public opinion and politics

Public opinion itself is held hostage of politics:

Rich, inept, parasitic heirs whose livelihood is directly dependent on the sale of fossil fuels bribe politicians pundits and sometimes scientists like your beloved mentor to act as their propagandists. Their rhetoric is then repeated by people not much because they're genuinely convinced, but because they will never publicly admit that their voting patterns make them the lackeys of leeches' minions.

That's why arguing about global warming is so infuriating: one is not facing disagreement or ignorance: chances are the contrarians faced know that they're repeating someone else's lies but keep doing it as part of a perverse signaling game where the goal is to demonstrate one's steadfast submissiveness toward dynastic wealth without openly stating it.

So I, for one, won't shed a single tear to the fact that your teacher got deservedly ostracized by his peers when he pulled a Jastrow.

Why does it matter? Are we really not going to continue living if the earth heats up and water levels rise? we will just move further inland. I might be biased living in Canada but it does not exactly seem like we are using up all our space over here. I'm worried about bees though.

Super Not Cosmo:

flarty:
snip

Those charts are all well and good but ultimately they are still only talking about a tenth or two of a degree. Also, as I said in my first post satellite data shows that there hasn't been any warming in close to two decades. Beyond that though the "hockey stick" graph has been pretty well debunked multiple times over and Michael Mann is a hack in every sense of the word who fought for years to keep key pieces of information from being released.

Er, no. You will notice the global mean temperature actually rose .6 degrees celsius and has maintained that steady increase over the last 60 years. Not to mention this is an age old problem I keep seeing: small does not mean insignificant.

Uh-huh. Debunked by whom? The hockey stick graph was made to show the correlation between temperature and greenhouse gasses. That's all. The temperatures have followed suit as such. Yes, some have debated the subject since Mann relied heavily on tree-ring data, but the conclusion was still found to be plausible. Then there's Edward Wegman, who was found to have plagiarised his research from wikipedia.

Mann took the criticisms of his data to heart and did more research as well, recreating the graph in 2008 with the new data and new methods. It came to a similar conclusion, as did several reconstructions by several scientists, many of whom did not use tree ring data. The end result was the same: a steep acceleration of warming in the mid 20th century.

I do think your professor was in the wrong here.

He shouldn't have accepted research money from big oil. That's a very, very clear conflict of interest.

I don't think he was demonized or made a pariah because his research went against prevailing opinions, I'm fairly certain he was demonized and made a pariah because he showed extremely bad judgment.

There's plenty research showing that industry funding introduces bias:
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040005
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447808/?tool=pubmed
http://www.cochrane.org/news/blog/how-well-do-meta-analyses-disclose-conflicts-interests-underlying-research-studies

NinjaDeathSlap:

Ark of the Covetor:

Rhykker:

So to continue his research, my professor had to sell his soul to the Devil - or at least, that's what many would say. Who was willing to fund his research? Big Oil, who had a vested interest in disproving anthropogenic climate change. And because Big Oil was funding his research, my professor was demonized by the public and made a pariah in the scientific community - all because he wanted to question the prevailing opinions.

Yeah, I'm not buying that. Was he "demonized" and "made a pariah" because "he wanted to question the prevailing opinions", or because he was willing to accept funding from vested interests who have a proven track record of "paying for results" in order to do so? I'm betting it was the latter.

To illustrate why criticism was entirely justifiable, lets consider Jimmy. Jimmy is a hypothetical scientist who questions the prevailing opinion that smoking is a direct cause of lung cancer. Now, lets say that Jimmy is struggling to find funding for his research, given the reams of evidence which directly support the proposition that he questions - I think it would be perfectly valid to criticise Jimmy in very strong terms indeed if he decided to remedy his funding problems by going on the payroll of the fucking tobacco industry.

Is that not at least part of why peer-reviewing exists though? To ensure that no matter where the money came from, the science remains sound? Vested interests can try and pay for results all they like, but if their agendas result in a flawed method, the scientific community is going to know it, and they're going to call it out. Beyond that, it's just a question of how much attention the rest of us pay to what's being said.

The other two who raised this argument can consider this my reply to them as well:

1. Peer review is not perfect. It is possible to slip through with an atrocious study and not have it caught until years later; see Dr Andrew Wakefield, the cockmongler who legitimised the "vaccines cause autism" bullshit.

2. There are entire journals out there which exist solely to publish paid or ideologically-driven research without proper scrutiny, and in most cases the general public don't have a fucking scooby what the difference is between Nature and The Journal of Totally Accurate Oil Industry Research Into Climate Change Honest Guv. The media are either also clueless, or also partisan and so don't give a shit, and so shitty studies with terrible methodologies are transmogrified in the minds of punters into "CLIMATE CHANGE DEBUNKED: THIS SCIENCE DUDE SAYS SO! NEWS AT 11!".

3. Even if the bloke mentioned in the article above happens to be one of the four genuine and honest climate researchers employed by the oil industry, he's still in the wrong, because by taking their funding to do climate research when he knows full-well that the vast, vast majority of oil industry climate research is spurious bullshit designed to steer the debate through news media and bamboozling fucking moronic politicians, he's helping to legitimise them. He becomes someone the industry can point to whenever they're caught out pushing bogus research, or vastly overinflating the results of a study to support their commercial objectives.

I have zero sympathy for researchers who take corporate money in cases like this, because they know damn well what they're doing and why it's bullshit, they know they're putting the politics before the science; there are plenty of climatologists out there who disagree with or question parts of the anthropocentric climate change model, but they don't seem to have any issues finding funding, which means the guy in the story is either stupendously unlucky, shit at making funding proposals, or one of the fringe batshit loons who thinks the whole thing is a giant conspiracy.

Super Not Cosmo:

flarty:
snip

Those charts are all well and good but ultimately they are still only talking about a tenth or two of a degree. Also, as I said in my first post satellite data shows that there hasn't been any warming in close to two decades. Beyond that though the "hockey stick" graph has been pretty well debunked multiple times over and Michael Mann is a hack in every sense of the word who fought for years to keep key pieces of information from being released.

Really? Has it? Because I'm studying Environmental science and ecology at university and I have not seen anything that can debunk the extensive catalog of ice cores, tree rings and lake sediment. Unless you are talking about climate gate, in which case climate gate was a manipulation of evidence to stop misinterpretation of the data, as tree rings only give an indication of what the local environment was like at any given time as opposed to global.

gigastar:

Frankly, i wonder why nobody seems to acknowledge that the human popuation is the root cause of everything.

If there were less humans around, there simply wouldnt be a need to produce so much to support them.

Probably going to get some flak for that statement. Wouldnt be the first time and i look forward to adding some names to the ignore list.

That is a huge problem that doesn't seemed to be addressed enough. because of the billions that inhabit all the planet, thing get changed quickly. When there was few large cities and many villages, people could easily live and effect very little of the environment. With all the people in the world now, we have to take over more of the space, allowing for less places for other animals and such.

Factor in humans ability to make things that cause even greater problems, even with the good, it's a formula for disaster.

Hagi:
I do think your professor was in the wrong here.

He shouldn't have accepted research money from big oil. That's a very, very clear conflict of interest.

I don't think he was demonized or made a pariah because his research went against prevailing opinions, I'm fairly certain he was demonized and made a pariah because he showed extremely bad judgment.

There's plenty research showing that industry funding introduces bias:
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040005
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447808/?tool=pubmed
http://www.cochrane.org/news/blog/how-well-do-meta-analyses-disclose-conflicts-interests-underlying-research-studies

And yet, accepting money from pro-green, pro-alternative energy or pro-environmental groups or organizations is fine? Face it - its almost impossible to get funding from an unbiased source these days.

Shamanic Rhythm:

The good thing about science is that it exists regardless of whether or not you believe in it.

Don't make me laugh. A large portion of the stuff that's published as 'science' these days is just utter garbage. The sad fact is that while peer review is a wonderful idea in theory, it and much of the scientific community has become terribly biased and corrupted. A few of the more recent 'gems' out there:
You can generate papers from scratch on a computer, and still get them published easily
The name of the author or university can play a larger role than the content of the article in deciding if its publishable
Want to get published? Have you and your friends review each other's papers under fake names
Best way to get people to ignore your paper? Add math!

Anyone who has spent any time in a research environment can tell you that publication and grants is just as much if not more about the politics than the work. Trying to claim that anything SCIENCE! is above belief, bias and public perception is as wrong as you could possibly be.

ailurus:

Hagi:
I do think your professor was in the wrong here.

He shouldn't have accepted research money from big oil. That's a very, very clear conflict of interest.

I don't think he was demonized or made a pariah because his research went against prevailing opinions, I'm fairly certain he was demonized and made a pariah because he showed extremely bad judgment.

There's plenty research showing that industry funding introduces bias:
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040005
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447808/?tool=pubmed
http://www.cochrane.org/news/blog/how-well-do-meta-analyses-disclose-conflicts-interests-underlying-research-studies

And yet, accepting money from pro-green, pro-alternative energy or pro-environmental groups or organizations is fine? Face it - its almost impossible to get funding from an unbiased source these days.

No, that's kinda my entire point. Don't put words into my mouth.

Funding from any organisation with an invested interest is bad. And while completely 100% objectively unbiased is definitely impossible there's certainly funding available from organisations whose entire freaking mission statement isn't directly involved in the outcome of your research isn't.

Universities, the government, independent agencies etc. all may have biased individuals composing them but the purpose of the organization remains neutral. Big oil, Greenpeace etc. their very purpose is biased towards certain outcomes.

Hagi:
I do think your professor was in the wrong here.

He shouldn't have accepted research money from big oil. That's a very, very clear conflict of interest.

I don't think he was demonized or made a pariah because his research went against prevailing opinions, I'm fairly certain he was demonized and made a pariah because he showed extremely bad judgment.

There's plenty research showing that industry funding introduces bias:
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040005
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447808/?tool=pubmed
http://www.cochrane.org/news/blog/how-well-do-meta-analyses-disclose-conflicts-interests-underlying-research-studies

You know, I tried for 15 minutes to search to whatever companies are funding research on global warming, and it's apperantly a state secret since almost all sites I was pointed forward were about who funds the deniers. And I can bet my money there's some companies with money to gain from advocating the global warming craze who don't want to be known.

But I guess "conflict of interests" only applies to the oppsite side.

inu-kun:
You know, I tried for 15 minutes to search to whatever companies are funding research on global warming, and it's apperantly a state secret since almost all sites I was pointed forward were about who funds the deniers. And I can bet my money there's some companies with money to gain from advocating the global warming craze who don't want to be known.

But I guess "conflict of interests" only applies to the oppsite side.

Yes, that was obviously what I was saying. Just take the first letter from each sentence and it clearly spells out "any research that doesn't support global warming is a clear conflict of interest".

Can we please stop the "but they do it too!" whining as if that makes any difference whatsoever? That trick didn't work in kindergarten and it won't work on academic research either.

Taking research money from big oil is bad regardless of what other researchers may or may not be doing.

Hagi:

inu-kun:
You know, I tried for 15 minutes to search to whatever companies are funding research on global warming, and it's apperantly a state secret since almost all sites I was pointed forward were about who funds the deniers. And I can bet my money there's some companies with money to gain from advocating the global warming craze who don't want to be known.

But I guess "conflict of interests" only applies to the oppsite side.

Yes, that was obviously what I was saying. Just take the first letter from each sentence and it clearly spells out "any research that doesn't support global warming is a clear conflict of interest".

Can we please stop the "but they do it too!" whining as if that makes any difference whatsoever? That trick didn't work in kindergarten and it won't work on academic research either.

Taking research money from big oil is bad regardless of what other researchers may or may not be doing.

But you criticized the person for taking funding that's a conflict of interest, so shouldn't the same rules apply to the other side? Isn't THAT exactly what a child in kindergarten would say "The rules don't apply to me"?

I'm sick of the idea that cause justify the means that's so prevalent today.

inu-kun:
But you criticized the person for taking funding that's a conflict of interest, so shouldn't the same rules apply to the other side? Isn't THAT exactly what a child in kindergarten would say "The rules don't apply to me"?

I'm sick of the idea that cause justify the means that's so prevalent today.

Could you quote the part where I said the same rules shouldn't apply to the other side?

FogHornG36:
I still remember when i was a kid and they always told me before the year 2000 the ice caps would be totally melted.

And we would all just have to learn to swim? Yeah, I remember that back in the day, it was one of the very few things I wasn't scared of when I was a child though.

Hagi:

inu-kun:
But you criticized the person for taking funding that's a conflict of interest, so shouldn't the same rules apply to the other side? Isn't THAT exactly what a child in kindergarten would say "The rules don't apply to me"?

I'm sick of the idea that cause justify the means that's so prevalent today.

Could you quote the part where I said the same rules shouldn't apply to the other side?

"Taking research money from big oil is bad regardless of what other researchers may or may not be doing."

Why is that less moral than people who invested in solar and wind energy funding climate change advocates?

Honestly considering climate change can:

A) Wipe us out in the next 100 years (a drop by 2 degree celsius cause ice age, small number can have huge impact)

B) Even if we were to completely stop pollution tomorrow, we'd still be completely fucked because the CO2 is still in the atmosphere and because the permafrost and the ocean claptrap are feeding the positive feedback curve.

I think finding the cause is pretty irrelevant, we need to fix this ASAP, right now we should be using all our resource toward fixing it, yet barely any is used. So yeah if we could stop funding research into finding the cause and instead put it into mass scale geo engineering that'd be awesome. What was his hypothesis anyway? Solar activity? Volcano? Dark matter? Unless his hypothesis was something we could actually do something about in the immediate or very near term, it's flat out pointless, I'd rather we live without being really sure why than die knowing why.

inu-kun:

Hagi:

inu-kun:
But you criticized the person for taking funding that's a conflict of interest, so shouldn't the same rules apply to the other side? Isn't THAT exactly what a child in kindergarten would say "The rules don't apply to me"?

I'm sick of the idea that cause justify the means that's so prevalent today.

Could you quote the part where I said the same rules shouldn't apply to the other side?

"Taking research money from big oil is bad regardless of what other researchers may or may not be doing."

Why is that less moral than people who invested in solar and wind energy funding climate change advocates?

That's not what that sentence means.

What it means is is that whatever (AKA regardless) other researchers are doing the judgment of taking research money from big oil remains the same.

If other researchers are out clubbing baby seals then taking money from big oil is still bad, it doesn't somehow become good because others are doing something even worse.
If other researchers are also taking money from biased sources then taking money from big oil is still bad, it doesn't somehow become good because others are doing exactly the same.
If other researchers are simultaneously curing cancer and solving world hunger then taking money from big oil is still bad, it doesn't somehow become good because others are doing much better.

It's completely irrelevant what other researchers are doing.

Scow2:

Ark of the Covetor:

Rhykker:
so much so that even my deliberate usage of the term global warming rather than climate change has upset a number of you reading this.

I actually become upset whenever people use the term "climate change" instead of "global warming". Global Warming is the more concise, accurate term as far as I can see; it conveys the idea succinctly, without a lot of room for misinterpretation. The planet is heating up. Why is it heating up? Good, complex question, but there's no real doubt that human activity is a contributing factor. How much is it heating up? Another good question, but I won't open that can of worms in this forum post. Still, the term "Global Warming" succeeds in getting the main point across.

And then there's Climate Change. From an academic point of view it may be a valid term, but for laymen, it is disastrous in its ambiguity. Were there more tornadoes in the Atlantic last year? Climate Change! Are there fewer tornadoes in the Atlantic this year? Climate Change! Is the average surface temperature in the planet going up? Climate Change! Is the average surface temperature going down? Climate Change! Did last year have lower rainfall totals than average? Climate Change! And if this year has greater rainfall totals than average? Climate Change!

Climate Change alarmists can (and do) point to literally any variation in weather patterns as "evidence" that the world is going to end unless we give up all of our decision-making power to their environmentalist gods. It's the term "Climate Change" that upsets me.

Climate Change is used because "Global Warming" implies the entire planet is uniformly warming up, and thus areas where the climate is actually changing toward colder temperatures immediately 'invalidates' the claims of Global Warming - "If the world's heating up, why has each year set more record-low temperatures than the last?!"

Except the term Global Warming doesn't imply that the planet is warming up uniformly, only that it's warming up overall. It's like if you put a square plate of food big enough on a microwave oven that the edges get stuck and the plate doesn't spin, some parts of your food will end up really hot and others will end up still cold- and yet this doesn't disprove that microwave ovens perform Food Warming, so to speak.

Zato-1:

Scow2:

Ark of the Covetor:

I actually become upset whenever people use the term "climate change" instead of "global warming". Global Warming is the more concise, accurate term as far as I can see; it conveys the idea succinctly, without a lot of room for misinterpretation. The planet is heating up. Why is it heating up? Good, complex question, but there's no real doubt that human activity is a contributing factor. How much is it heating up? Another good question, but I won't open that can of worms in this forum post. Still, the term "Global Warming" succeeds in getting the main point across.

And then there's Climate Change. From an academic point of view it may be a valid term, but for laymen, it is disastrous in its ambiguity. Were there more tornadoes in the Atlantic last year? Climate Change! Are there fewer tornadoes in the Atlantic this year? Climate Change! Is the average surface temperature in the planet going up? Climate Change! Is the average surface temperature going down? Climate Change! Did last year have lower rainfall totals than average? Climate Change! And if this year has greater rainfall totals than average? Climate Change!

Climate Change alarmists can (and do) point to literally any variation in weather patterns as "evidence" that the world is going to end unless we give up all of our decision-making power to their environmentalist gods. It's the term "Climate Change" that upsets me.

Climate Change is used because "Global Warming" implies the entire planet is uniformly warming up, and thus areas where the climate is actually changing toward colder temperatures immediately 'invalidates' the claims of Global Warming - "If the world's heating up, why has each year set more record-low temperatures than the last?!"

Except the term Global Warming doesn't imply that the planet is warming up uniformly, only that it's warming up overall. It's like if you put a square plate of food big enough on a microwave oven that the edges get stuck and the plate doesn't spin, some parts of your food will end up really hot and others will end up still cold- and yet this doesn't disprove that microwave ovens perform Food Warming, so to speak.

But, unless something's really wrong, nothing in the microwave will end up colder than it originally was.

Scow2:

Zato-1:

Scow2:
Climate Change is used because "Global Warming" implies the entire planet is uniformly warming up, and thus areas where the climate is actually changing toward colder temperatures immediately 'invalidates' the claims of Global Warming - "If the world's heating up, why has each year set more record-low temperatures than the last?!"

Except the term Global Warming doesn't imply that the planet is warming up uniformly, only that it's warming up overall. It's like if you put a square plate of food big enough on a microwave oven that the edges get stuck and the plate doesn't spin, some parts of your food will end up really hot and others will end up still cold- and yet this doesn't disprove that microwave ovens perform Food Warming, so to speak.

But, unless something's really wrong, nothing in the microwave will end up colder than it originally was.

It can, if you take food out of the freezer and put it on a plate at room temperature, the cold food will chill the plate. :P

Captcha: vanilla ice cream, yes just like ice cream, thank you captcha

You can't really blame people for not trusting your professor. Last time, research funded by Big Oil showed that "lead is totes good for ya, honest".

ailurus:

Shamanic Rhythm:

The good thing about science is that it exists regardless of whether or not you believe in it.

Don't make me laugh. A large portion of the stuff that's published as 'science' these days is just utter garbage. The sad fact is that while peer review is a wonderful idea in theory, it and much of the scientific community has become terribly biased and corrupted. A few of the more recent 'gems' out there:
You can generate papers from scratch on a computer, and still get them published easily
The name of the author or university can play a larger role than the content of the article in deciding if its publishable
Want to get published? Have you and your friends review each other's papers under fake names
Best way to get people to ignore your paper? Add math!

Anyone who has spent any time in a research environment can tell you that publication and grants is just as much if not more about the politics than the work. Trying to claim that anything SCIENCE! is above belief, bias and public perception is as wrong as you could possibly be.

I know all about the dodgy journal practices, I'm in research myself. Does that automatically invalidate everything that's been done in this field of research? Of course not.

What I find especially amusing/depressing about the science of global warming is that people who otherwise happily accept science when it tells them 'this plane won't fall out of the sky', 'this internet will work without a wired connection', 'this skin graft will heal your wound', 'this reading means there's an earthquake coming' etc; but the minute the topic shifts to AGW, everyone suddenly feels qualified to question the experience/wisdom/methods/motives of the ENTIRE scientific community if necessary. That's pretty daft when you stop to think about it.

Shamanic Rhythm:
I know all about the dodgy journal practices, I'm in research myself. Does that automatically invalidate everything that's been done in this field of research? Of course not.

What I find especially amusing/depressing about the science of global warming is that people who otherwise happily accept science when it tells them 'this plane won't fall out of the sky', 'this internet will work without a wired connection', 'this skin graft will heal your wound', 'this reading means there's an earthquake coming' etc; but the minute the topic shifts to AGW, everyone suddenly feels qualified to question the experience/wisdom/methods/motives of the ENTIRE scientific community if necessary. That's pretty daft when you stop to think about it.

Well...yes and no. On the one hand, yes, obviously.

OTOH, more or less the entire scientific community has been totally wrong about things in the past. However, this seems to be much more likely when comparing the sort of people that make up the scientific community with the sort of people they look down on (it was well known by scientists that the straight white male was superior, and it was a coincidence that scientists tended to be straight white males, for example), which isn't a factor here.

What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started. You put the damn thing out. Natural global warming is no less detrimental to us than man-made. Regardless of cause, we need to stop it, or half the world will die of thirst and the other half will starve.

spartan231490:
What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started. You put the damn thing out. Natural global warming is no less detrimental to us than man-made. Regardless of cause, we need to stop it, or half the world will die of thirst and the other half will starve.

How do you treat a disease when you only know the symptoms and not the underlying cause?

The Bucket:

spartan231490:
What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started. You put the damn thing out. Natural global warming is no less detrimental to us than man-made. Regardless of cause, we need to stop it, or half the world will die of thirst and the other half will starve.

How do you treat a disease when you only know the symptoms and not the underlying cause?

We understand the mechanisms of global warming more than well enough to take action. We're just unwilling, for some stupid-ass reason, to do what must be done.

The Bucket:

spartan231490:
What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started. You put the damn thing out. Natural global warming is no less detrimental to us than man-made. Regardless of cause, we need to stop it, or half the world will die of thirst and the other half will starve.

How do you treat a disease when you only know the symptoms and not the underlying cause?

Apparently by continuing and indeed even accelerating in taking actions known to exacerbate said symptoms? /sarcasm

I mean, seriously, why is that even a question, anyway? That's not how medicine works; treating symptoms is common. Somebody goes to a doctor with a dangerously high fever. Do you think they wait two weeks for blood test results to come back before taking action to bring down the fever? Of course not.

thaluikhain:

Shamanic Rhythm:
I know all about the dodgy journal practices, I'm in research myself. Does that automatically invalidate everything that's been done in this field of research? Of course not.

What I find especially amusing/depressing about the science of global warming is that people who otherwise happily accept science when it tells them 'this plane won't fall out of the sky', 'this internet will work without a wired connection', 'this skin graft will heal your wound', 'this reading means there's an earthquake coming' etc; but the minute the topic shifts to AGW, everyone suddenly feels qualified to question the experience/wisdom/methods/motives of the ENTIRE scientific community if necessary. That's pretty daft when you stop to think about it.

Well...yes and no. On the one hand, yes, obviously.

OTOH, more or less the entire scientific community has been totally wrong about things in the past. However, this seems to be much more likely when comparing the sort of people that make up the scientific community with the sort of people they look down on (it was well known by scientists that the straight white male was superior, and it was a coincidence that scientists tended to be straight white males, for example), which isn't a factor here.

Science always has some things that will either eventually be proven to be dead wrong, or of which our understanding will dramatically evolve.

However, the people to critique it should by and large be other appropriately qualified scientists; not a combination of armchair experts, media pundits and politicians, as is the present case.

NuclearKangaroo:

When science is held hostage to public opinion and politics, we harken back to a dark time in our history - a time of witch trials and geocentric worldviews. Years ago, one of my professors - an accomplished scientist - lamented the climate (ahem) in global warming research. The government's historical attitude toward the matter can be very roughly divided into the pre-Al Gore era of, "Blablabla we can't hear you," and the post-Inconvenient Truth era of, "Okay, we believe you; now fix it!" While the latter may seem like a victory, it was a pyrrhic one - in accepting that climate change was occurring, government funding shifted away from further investigating potential causes and toward finding solutions.

this sounds alarming, you got some more sources to confirm this is the trend right now?

Of course, there's a lot more at play in the global warming discussion - politics and capitalism, namely - which leads me to what I find saddest of all: that we need the threat of impending doom as a motivator to pollute less. Whether or not you believe that humanity is the leading cause of global warming, I think we can all agree that being kinder to our environment is in our best interest. But the myopic views of governments and corporations bent on holding power and money care too much for their immediate bottom-line to do the right, forward-thinking thing - they would rather invest in themselves than in humanity.

i understand what you are saying but heres the thing, life rarely has one correct answer for all your problems, you think as corporations as if they were made entirely of guys in suit holding a cigar in their hands and laughing maniacally each time a tree dies

there are many normals folks like you and me working at corporations and the moment you tell a corporation they must reduce their operations, those are the guys that are getting the boot, its hard to think about building a better world for your grandchildren when you cant even feed your kids right now

and then theres this other problem, many countries in the world, such as mine, depend on Oil exports to survive, Oil, if i recall correctly, represents 90% of our exports, is the one thing that has kept this show running for the last 80 years

now youd be right to assume my country is full of idiots who havent put any effort into doing something besides exporting oil, i wont deny that, but the fact remains, any hit to the oil market affects us and affect every country in a similar situation, is it right to sacrifice the livelihood of millions of people to save the planet? could you tell entire countries they have no right to prosper because the planet demands it?

the global warming issue isnt really that clear cut, its not the greed of old men whats destroying the world, but the desperate attempts to survive of millions of people

You really do NOT know how these corporations work do you? You think that the little guy, working at the gas station is going to be asked about losing his job? Or the rig workers over in the Canadian oilpatch in Alberta? No, all they get is a pink slip. Oil is down to 60 or so per barrel, meaning that in order to "keep their profits" the big suits will fire 1000 people. Suncor did this to 1000 Albertans. Yea they tried surviving, now they looking for jobs. So please do not come to me with "but corporations feed people". You are nothing but labour to them.

Also let us see do we want millions to survive? or billions to die? If the patterns persists the way it does a lot of the coastal areas will be flooded. You can kiss good bye to New York, Venice, half of freaking Holland and the coastal areas of the world. Not to mention of the ecological devastation by continued drilling into the ocean (the Gulf disaster that BP had to deal with). The climate change affecting the crops' pattern. The fact that arable land is becoming scarcer with the continued change (Gobi desert is advancing south - http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2003/update26). We are killing ourselves. So you will please excuse if I see through your farcical "but the little guy has to survive". Not when the big boys try to stifle advancements in science and their greed kills the little guy anyways.

Also standard economics, diversify so that if one thing fails, it won't bring you down. Alberta is suffering cause of idiots relying on big oil.

Lunncal:

Razhem:
And if Global Warming is a natural climate cycle do we prevent it too? I mean, it is also a very possible scenario, the Earth has gone through a few hot/cold cycles since it's inception, by "putting out the fire" without knowing what we are doing, may we not be screwing around with something that would initially be what was "supposed to happen"?.

I don't see why that's a problem. If what is supposed to happen is bad then we change it, that's pretty much the main purpose of many of the advancements and innovations humankind has made throughout its history. Agriculture allows us to provide far more food than we are "supposed" to, vehicles allow us to travel further than we were ever "supposed" to, medicine allows people who were "supposed" to die to live.

Perhaps human beings never were supposed to change things, but if that's the case that ship has sailed long ago, and it's pointless worrying about it now. Any attempts we make to "put out the fire" may very well screw us all over, but then failing to attempt to put it out at all can screw us just as bad. Nature is heartless and random, if I've a choice in the matter I'd rather leave my fate to people and the solutions they come up with, imperfect though they may often be.

Oh, I agree, it's our thing, we adapt the environment to us, but the whole "global warming is going to KILL US!!!!" craze started because supposedly we have screwed with things to a point that it will be a problem (that I believe our effect is exaggerated does not mean I don't believe we don't have an influence in that front), so those people I would have expected to be a lot more weary of doing the headless chicken dance when trying to affect something that "is supposed to happen naturally".

For me personally, if we have to live in domes to survive the cycle of fire/ice/guinea pirates, so be it.

Scow2:
Climate Change is used because "Global Warming" implies the entire planet is uniformly warming up, and thus areas where the climate is actually changing toward colder temperatures immediately 'invalidates' the claims of Global Warming - "If the world's heating up, why has each year set more record-low temperatures than the last?!"

No. Global Warming implies that entire planet is warming (not necesserely Uniformly). this is a known fact. While some regions have cooled, other regions have more than made up for it in terns of temperature rise. if somone was to measure the average temperature of the planet there would be an increase. So no, single area being colder does not invalidate Global Warming term.

Razhem:
And if Global Warming is a natural climate cycle do we prevent it too? I mean, it is also a very possible scenario, the Earth has gone through a few hot/cold cycles since it's inception, by "putting out the fire" without knowing what we are doing, may we not be screwing around with something that would initially be what was "supposed to happen"?.

Global warming and cooling is a natural cycle that takes millions of years to happen. We have calculated that we have shortened the cycle by over 100.000 years.

And hell yes we prevent it. unless you want to be extinct. What is "supposed to happen" to the planet has not historically bared well on its inhabitants.

FogHornG36:
I still remember when i was a kid and they always told me before the year 2000 the ice caps would be totally melted.

The reason they havent is because people who were shouting that in the 80s actually managed to make industry waste far less. for example we banned the use of most dangerous gasses in household appliances completely, thus pretty much saving our Ozone layer just in time. we also added many variuos other filtration and recycling methods to slow down the damage done. in result - the icevaps are melting slower than old models predicted.

in other words - our efforts worked!

gigastar:

Frankly, i wonder why nobody seems to acknowledge that the human popuation is the root cause of everything.

If there were less humans around, there simply wouldnt be a need to produce so much to support them.

Probably going to get some flak for that statement. Wouldnt be the first time and i look forward to adding some names to the ignore list.

Because every time you do - you get labeled a human hating psychopath and all your arguments are automatically disgarded. couple that with the fact that our capitalist system can only work with population increase and would collapse if population started decreasing and you get the result that noone wants to hear it and everyone goes out of their way to shut everyone stating this.

Reasonable Atheist:
Why does it matter? Are we really not going to continue living if the earth heats up and water levels rise? we will just move further inland. I might be biased living in Canada but it does not exactly seem like we are using up all our space over here. I'm worried about bees though.

Id like to see you move, say, Los Angeles. You do realize that over 80% of human population on this earth lives on coastlines that will go underwater with polar caps melting? While you may not feel it, there are towns in india already sinking and the inhabitants got nowhere to go. You live in one of the most sparsely populated countries, so you dont see problems of moving a billion people away.

Not to mention that this shift im temperature is already killing thousands of species that are not as adoptable as humans. we may be able to just move away, but it wont help of we starve once things stop growing.

spartan231490:
What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started.

funny you mention house fires, considering that firemen and police work together to find out what caused it in all cases where it is not obvious. In fact Many firemen try to find out if the cause of fire was electric due to different ways of handling such fires (due to increased risk of electrification).

Pyrian:
Do you think they wait two weeks for blood test results to come back before taking action to bring down the fever? Of course not.

a bit off topic but two weeks? what kind of doctor do you visit? the one i go to does the blood test locally and has results the same day.

A nice article, but the last few sentences are unnecessary. Easily blaming everything on evil corporations and governments is not only naive but also way too simplistic.

Strazdas:

spartan231490:
What rational being cares what is causing global warming? If you house catches fire, you don't sit there debating how it started.

funny you mention house fires, considering that firemen and police work together to find out what caused it in all cases where it is not obvious. In fact Many firemen try to find out if the cause of fire was electric due to different ways of handling such fires (due to increased risk of electrification).

Not until the fire is out. while the fire is still burning, the number one concern is to stop it. As for electrocution, that is a risk in any building with a live power grid, whether the fire was electrical or not. They don't bother caring, they cut power to the building.

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