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When one party makes denialism a political plank…

global warming

When one party makes denialism a political plank, we all suffer.
"The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones.

Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is “no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of.”

It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved. The GOP’s stiffening rejection of climate science sets the stage for much heated argument but little action as the world inexorably warms — and the dangers that Hague identified creep closer." 

                                                                     —–National Journal

 

Read more about the GOP now almost religious denial of global warming at this post at the Climate Progress blog.

And check out this editorial by climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, the target of so much rage — and now a legal investigation — on the Right. If the GOP takes over the House this fall, expect a great deal more of this kind of crap.  

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  1. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    The skeptics do have a legitimate claim. While evidence does suggest that the world is heating up, there is also evidence that suggests that the changes are a result of natural phenomenon.

  2. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    If by “natural phenomena” you mean “Humans burning carbon” then yes, I’d agree.

  3. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Human beings have been observing the global climate for a relatively short amount of time. It is possible that the changes are normal by Earth’s standards – just not documented. To claim that humans are the cause – while reasonable, since placing unnatural chemicals into the air is unnatural – is still an assumption and a theory. Skeptics are just arguing that there is not enough absolute proof supporting this claim to justify radical measures.

  4. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Sure, “skeptics” could claim that, but they’d still be wrong.

    Climate doesn’t change by magic. It responds to whatever is forcing it to respond — solar variations, volcanic activity, greenhouse gasses.

    We have a strong data set going back millions of years, not just with local temperature observations, but ice core samples and sedimentary chemical makeup. Climate is a cumulative feedback system, and those other explanations, from albedo changes to solar activity to orbital variations, just don’t hold up to empirical data.

    Yes, AGW is a theory, but theory in the scientific sense doesn’t mean what you are implying it means: an assumption based on a guess. It’s an explanation based on overlapping lines of evidence… direct observations, historic analysis, computer models and simple physics.

    Your argument is specious.

  5. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    I wasn’t arguing whether Global Warming was a theory. I was saying that people who are skeptical about Global Warming being caused by humans are not rejecting facts all-out, but don’t feel there is enough proof behind the theory, supporting it, to justify the measures suggested.

    Even meteorologists, climatologists, and historical climatologists do not unanimously agree that global warming is an unnatural event. There have been trends similar to this included in ice core samples and inferred from historical accounts. These suggest that recent human pollution does not play a determining factor in Global Warming.

    Skeptics just don’t want to make an uninformed decision that would ruin the economy. If Anthropogenic Global Warming is proven, I’m certain they’ll agree, but, as it remains, they feel that the balance of evidence for and against the theory is not in its favor.

  6. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    And Creationists argue there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that evolution happened, Flat Earther’s believe the jury is still out on the existence of dragons at the edge of the earth, and somewhere, someone believes that two plus two does not equal four. They all though would be wrong.

    Ninety seven percent of climatologists and planetary scientists agree not just that the Earth is warming, but that it’s warming through human caused fossil emissions. The equivalents of the National Academy of Sciences of all nations on the planet concur that the preponderance of evidence is that AGW is real and happening. There is no debate amongst the relevant scientists. To say or to imply otherwise demonstrates a gross ignorance on the subject.

    Analysis of ice core samples does not negate human causes; it shows that the total heat in the global system remained in balance, as warming in northern hemisphere matched cooling in southern zones. The CO2 emissions are the new factor, levels that are far in excess of anything contained in ice core bubbles and directly correlating with our increasing global use of fossil fuels and growing greenhouse effects.

    Indeed, the greenhouse effect itself was first demonstrated in 1820, AGW first proposed in 1896, the first true alarms were raised in the 1970s, reams of data were gathered and collated through to the early part of this century, with satellite analysis of the oceans, troposphere, thermosphere and stratosphere corroborating lines of equerry confirming the theory.

    The uniformed decision is one that both denies the reality of global warming and that anthropogenic causes are the primary factor. And there may indeed be no way to arrest or reverse the process. We could move to zero net emissions tomorrow and still find that such drastic changes have done nothing to change the the 2-4.5 degree increase in temperatures planet-wide, by the end of the 21st century.

    There is no skeptical case against AGW. The evidence is overwhelming, as weighty and pronounced as for evolution or gravity.

  7. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    NOAA researchers have produced evidence that shows that the change in temperature is not proportional to the number of CO2 emitting cars (kgan.com).

    The reason climatologists believe in AGW is because they are supposed to look for a logical coherency of cause and effect. Global warming is the effect, but they do not have a definite cause, so they look to the most climatologically efficacious event in the recent years: an influx in CO2 emissions.

    This is a reasonable inference, and, as you point out, supported by other information. However, inferences of reason and logic are based upon knowledge and experience, looked at in a new light. Human beings now do not have infinite knowledge of Earth’s climate. Even ice core data gets less precise the further back one goes. Some factors contribute more to the greenhouse effect than CO2. This uncertainty creates a minute, but present, amount of reasonable doubt – the 3% of climatologists.

    We can be 82% sure of AGW (cnn.com), but that still leave 18% doubt. Since that 18% doubt is reasonable doubt, skeptics, especially when they’re in the government and placed under enormous pressure, have to decide between certainly decimating an already weak economy, or very likely damaging the climate further. They do not actually believe that there is no chance in AGW or that the change of AGW is greater than not, they believe that its better to fight a problem they know will happen, and hope for the best outcome.

    http://weathereye.kgan.com/expert/warming/gif/tempgraph.GIF

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-19/world/eco.globalwarmingsurvey_1_global-warming-climate-science-human-activity?_s=PM:WORLD

  8. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    A, to quickly summarize the argument you’ve just made: “There’s only a 97% that a very large, very deadly car is about to hit me? Eh. Talk to me when you are 100% sure.”

    The accumulated evidence points to AGW. The accumulated evidence points to AGW with a certainty on par with evolution and gravity.

    You can’t argue that there might be something else at work without providing evidence of that something else — which, in citing the denialists, you’ve essentially done. Well, you can. But you are foolish for doing so.

    Also, the kgan link is to a picture of tropospheric temperatures over the last 20 years; it has nothing to do with NOAA.

    Further, the CNN article you linked to indicated that the certainty of AGW is highest… at 97%… among the experts in the field, climatologists and planetary scientists.

    The lower boundary number is for scientists in general. Standing on that number is akin to ascertaining the opinion of a gaggle of proctologists as to the severity and operability of a brain lesion.

    Sure they’re doctors, but there is an ass of a difference between them an neurosurgeons.

  9. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Well, to begin with, the comparative scenario you arranged is a misrepresentation of my argument. A fairer interpretation would be, “There’s a 97% chance of me getting hit by a car – the result of which could range from severe injury to death, and the only way to avoid possibly getting hit by the car is by jumping off a 50 meter cliff – the result of which could range from severe injury to an indefinite coma.”

    Also, the level of evidence provided for AGW is not on par with evolution and gravity. Firstly because evolution is not on par with gravity, but more importantly because both are based upon patterns seen in the past, reproduced in the present under certain conditions. AGW itself cannot be proven experimentally except by the global climate itself.

    The predictive trends which take into account the production of CO2 aren’t empirical evidence, but scientific hypotheses: “The temperature will increase by X amount in Y years because of human pollution.” The experiment is the world climate. The data is the actual change in temperature. The conclusion would be whether or not Global Warming is caused by human pollution.

    While several experiments have augmented the argument that human pollution leads to Global Warming, no conclusive proof has been produced yet. The hypotheses based on AGW that have been correct do not outweigh the models that were wrong. This does not prove that AGW is false, merely produces reasonable doubt as to its correctness.

    I wasn’t saying NOAA was stating that AGW is false, just stating that it wasn’t some random, irrelevant graph from some unreliable organization.

    I put the statistic at its most encompassing because the points of view were all relevant to the problems: climatologists, meteorologists, and petrologists. It is an accurate statement that climatologists would know the most about the climate, but this is not just a matter about the climate. It involves both the chemical nature of CO2 and the consumption of petrol. You cannot just ignore the latter side of the argument and only listen to the climatologists, just like you cant just listen to the petrologists. Your equation to the relationship between a proctologist and a neurosurgeon is also unfair. A more accurate equation would be to that between a neurologist and a psychiatrist with a patient that has an extreme temper. The neurosurgeon would look at the problem as a possible hormonal imbalance caused by an enlarged gland, whereas the psychiatrist might see it as a problem with undirected anger.

    Again, I’m not trying to argue that AGW should be dismissed, nor that inaction is preferable, just that people’s reluctance is justified, especially when you take into account the enormous repercussions that acting too hastily would result in.

    AGW is not a certainty. Evolution and Gravity aren’t either; they’re just things that we speak of with certainty. The reason we do so is because they fill a logical gap: “How did we get here? Why did that apple fall?” without contradiction. If a different theory were introduced that equally filled the gap, with better evidence, then we would support that one and laugh at the resolution with which we spoke of the “evolutionary myth” (that was supposed to be an ironic joke, but humor’s difficult in an argument).

    The people who are deciding not to act on the AGW theory are not acting out of irrationality, just out of semi-biased rationality; they see the economic implementations of cap-and-trade as far worse than the ecological threats of AGW. That’s why they don’t often argue for or against the theory; they think its less important than the economy’s well-being. Considering the hostile environment of US politics, its hardly surprising that they believe that.

  10. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Nah, my medical analogy is rubbish as well. Here, its more like comparing conflicting views of a physician and your nutritionist, vitamin…uh…ist, or dietitian on whether a food, supplement, or vitamin you took had specific ill effects on your health.

  11. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    A, I’m afraid I just can’t get past your statement of “AGW is not a certainty. Evolution and Gravity aren’t either; they’re just things that we speak of with certainty.” I’m currently looking for my jaw. After hitting the floor, it managed to scurry and scamper off to a nice, quiet place, down a nice cup of tea and relax to the soothing sounds of the waves hitting the shore. It does that when faced with post modernist clap-trap. I have a devil of time coaching it back out.

    Gravity and Evolution are two of the most well understood, well verified and certain theories in science. The evidence for them is overwhelming; they are true by every empirical tool available, from genetics to anatomy to molecular biology to paleontology and geology for the latter and physics, engineering, astronomy and relativity for the former. While we don’t have a complete understanding of either, there is no doubt about either as being cornerstones of reality. There are a greater number of unknowns in AGW, but the “truth” of the theory is quite well settled.

    Lastly, it is all about the CO2. The radiative forcing of CO2 (alongside the other non condensing greenhouse gasses) is what controls the temperature of the Earth. It’s the thermostat. And we’ve yakked that thermostat, by burning the fossil fuels and related carbon products, up very, very high.

    By and large, the people deciding not to act on AGW — mainly Republicans — aren’t doing so after a careful economic debate, nor in light of the doubts many scientists have that we can do anything in the near term to reduce the damage that’s already been done. No, they are acting under far more base motives.

    Sharon Angle calls AGW a “change mantra of the left.” Joe Barton calls AGW a hoax, “natural” and a “net benefit for mankind.” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has launched a criminal investigation into the research of a prominent scientist involved in AGW research. This isn’t principled opposition. It’s rank stupidity.

  12. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Mmm… I like tea. That image you described is so peaceful.

    To respond to the nice person before you, “filling the gap” refers to the logical gap; it makes sense. Since evolution fills the gap perfectly, another theory cannot fill the gap better, so it has to fill it equally. However, that theory could possibly have more evidence. I don’t know what the theory would be, if there even were one, but thats just a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate how uncertain our certainties are because we know that we don’t know everything.

    Now, really, I shouldn’t be talking about gravity as a theory because its a law. It is certain. There aren’t holes in it, but there may be exceptions. Evolution is a theory. There are elements, like why no new macro-species have evolved in humanity’s time, yet, according to the theory, macro-species take a relatively short (a few millennium) period of time to evolve. I have every confidence that that does not disprove evolution, or even significantly challenge it, but it’s a hole that needs to be filled before it can be a law. AGW has many holes. The holes just create reasonable doubt. Perhaps not a reasonable amount of reasonable doubt, but the doubt itself isn’t ludicrous and unfounded.

    I really dislike generalizations based on minority samples. Republicans do not even believe, across the board, that AGW is false. Of the minority that do, even fewer (the over-the-cliff rights, as I call them. Some lefts have the same name, though I will concede that there a fewer of them) believe that it was a deliberate hoax. Some of them may be big figures of the party, but they aren’t convincing anybody who is not already convinced. The reason for inaction is because acts like cap-and-trade will raise the prices on consumers, and that is fundamentally against the Republican party’s primary agenda: low federal government involvement in state affairs – especially financial affairs. They instinctively resist those policies. Republicans, not right-wingers, will probably be more open-minded if those policies are enacted on a state level.

  13. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    What it all boils down to is THIS: Money.

    Pure and simple.

    Money.

    It will cost the expenditure of great sums of money – not to mention time and effort – to help deal with the problem of global climate change. A lot of R&D will have to be done (that costs money), and then measures based upon that research and development will need to be implemented in order to help stanch the flow of carbon emissions into the atmosphere – and that will cost a LOT of money.

    It’s money that corporations – auto makers (and the dealerships which sell said autos), and most especially the disgracefully influential power-producing industrialists and corporations – do not want to spend. They’re in the business of making money. Of churning out profits and making themselves, their coporate officers and shareholders and the like, filthy rich. And to have to suddenly change the way they make cars, to have to change the way their power plants produce electrical energy, to help protect the environment and slow or reduce the amount of carbon emissions which are inexorably frying this planet, will cost them profits. And they do NOT want to do that. Helping to stop or slow global warming is not going to help their bottom line, and so they are adamantly opposed to it. And because the Republican party is beholden to Big Business and corporate interests over, say, your average human being, flower, or bunny rabbit, then they will of course doggedly advocate and legislate for the interests which pour obscene amounts of cash into their campaign coffers.

    Ergo the ass-backward staunch denialism. And if there is even a whiff of imposing such horrific, unholy measures such as cap-and-trade or more fuel-effcient cars or cleaner-burning power plants, then they raise the time-tested specters of: A) This will cost us money, so that means we’ll have to lay people off. It will cost you your jobs. Those ungodly tree-huggers will get you fired, and B) There is no concrete, cohesive scientific proof that global warming exists and/or is caused by human beings.

    This combination of scare tactic (losing jobs) and dogma (it ain’t our polluting power plants or SUV’s causing this – in fact, I think the the whole thing is a massive conspiracy created by those socialist muslim fags) is what is fed to the folks who take what Glenn Beck says as holy gospel.

    And here we are.

    It sucks. Are they on the wrong side of history? Oh, HELL YEAH. When polar bears are extinct, when Arizona is beachfront property, when we all have to wear protective suits to keep from getting exposed to dangerous levels of UV radiation just to go get our mail, when it’s 70 degrees in the middle of winter in Maine… Will they admit they were wrong? Maybe. I highly doubt it, but maybe.

    I’m guessing at that point they’ll still find a way to blame it all on the socialist muslim faggots.

  14. Anonymous says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Argh – ! I didn’t realize that posted anonymously. Just for the record, I just added the last comment.

    I apologize for the long rant, and reducing it to something as crass as politics, but the sad reality is, that’s the way this bullshit works.

  15. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    A, in science, there’s no difference between a law and a theory. A scientific theory is a “law.”

    A, in evolutionary science, there’s no such thing as “macro” and “micro” evolution. There’s just evolution. There’s just speciation. And it’s being observed all of the time, both in the lab and outside of it. Cichlid fishes? Faeroe Island house mouse? Rhagoletis pomonella, the fruit fly? Richard Lenski’s E.coli experiment? Have you heard of any of those?

    The above is pretty basic science and science literacy.

    A, are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect?

  16. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Richie, don’t worry about it. Rants are fine. I’m actually of the mind that it’s not just about greed / money, but it’s also about human shortsightedness and our inability to see the long view. 20 -30 years is a lot of time for most people. I think that’s playing a role here as well. (“If it is happening, it’ll be someone else’s problem.”)

    Well, and there’s also the religious angle, as several congress-types are on record saying that only gods can muck with the climate of the Earth. Groan.

  17. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Actually, there is a distinction between scientific theories and laws: http://www.wilstar.com/theories.htm

    Also, I wasn’t talking about macroevolution and microevolution. I was talking about evolution of macro-species. Complex organisms. Animals. Each of the examples you gave, save for the Cichlid fish, which is larger than a species, so I don’t know what you’re getting at, is a subspecies evolution. It doesn’t even take place on a species level. However, I’m not even arguing about evolution. I just made those statements to try to get you to think about what people say and accept the reality that there is at least an infinitesimally small chance that everything you know about reality is a lie. Wisdom is, after all, the knowledge that you know nothing.

    Which segues (you hear the owner or something of the segway company died by rolling off a cliff on a segway? Talk about irony) very well into my next topic, a response to your question. No, actually. Before this conversation I had no clue what the Dunning-Kruger effect was (other than that it was an effect). However, upon review by the most wonderful and trustworthy sorce on the internet (coughWikipediacough) I realize that there is a vague resemblance to what I was trying to get you to avoid. A resemblance in the respect that I was trying to get you to see the mistakes of generalization and hyperbole that you encroached upon, if not made. If you are suggesting that I am experiencing the aformentioned effect, I would remind you not to assault personalities in a healthy discussion, and that I have, in fact, changed my argument based upon information that was revealed to me; see my previous arguments and notice the shifts. However, I persist in my arguments because you have yet to disprove my central thesis; there is a chance that AGW is false, and the skeptics are merely using that chance as a rational basis for their argument. I feel you have yet to obliterate this argument.

  18. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Well, I’m a bit of an optimist, so my two cents will seem a bit more positive than perhaps accurate, but I really don’t think that the people are doing this just for money, out of laziness, or for religious reasons. Well, maybe the religious reasons, but those nutters aren’t what I’m gunna talk about.

    Firstly, (this, again, is a more positive view. Feel free to ignore it if you arduously disagree; I have no evidence to support it) while I agree that shortsightedness does play a role, I think its not “it’s someone else’s problem,” that they’re saying but “we’ll fix it later.” Not much of a better saying, but not quite as cynical.

    Also, it actually isn’t as reasonable for the power and fuel companies to want policies like cap-and-trade to be avoided. The policies that would require MPG limitations and the like would drive up demand for specific cars that are in, at the moment, short supply: hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles. This would profit those companies. Power companies would have a similar situation since the policies would bump up the demand for the more long-term power sources: sun and wind. That would mean that the companies would not have to worry about losing customers at the cost of finding smarter sources of power.

  19. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    And as I’ve tried to point out, repeatedly, there is no debate among scientists who deal with planetary and climatological issues, as to whether or not AGW is occurring. It is. They are also the best qualified to make that determination and, indeed, the national academies of scientists from all countries, recognize that expertise and state, with equal certainty, that AGW is a fact.

    I’ve also pointed out that your persistence in argument is based in a mistaken understanding of the science behind AGW and of how science classifies theories. You continue to state that, in science, a law is grander and more certain than a theory. That is simply not the case.

    Utilizing your own reference, wikipedia, …A law differs from a scientific theory in that it does not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: it is merely a distillation of the results of repeated observation. As such, a law is limited in applicability to circumstances resembling those already observed, and is often found to be false when extrapolated.

    Theories are the highest level of organization in science, most representing the relationships between observations, principles and concepts. In every theory, there is always room left for uncertainty because that’s just how science operates. Nothing is ever certain, but some things have less areas of uncertainty than others.

    Newton’s Law of Gravity only applies to weak gravitational fields. Gravitational Theory is more “certain” than Newton’s law, because it is generalizable across scales, as it includes general relativity and quantum gravity. Gravitational Theory most accurately describes and explains all observed phenomena.

    In evolution, Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance apply to meiosis and chromosomal crossover. They don’t deal with penetrence, drift or even Natural Selection. Mendelian Laws are subsumed by Evolutionary Theory, which incorporates population genetics, natural selection and evolutionary development. Again, “theory” is the highest and most certain order of classification.

    Global Warming is the same kind of theory, established as it best reflects the relationships between observations, principles and concepts. It’s been verified over and over again, most recently with Lacis, Schmidt, Rind and Ruedy’s “Atmospheric CO2: Principal control knob governing Earth’s temperature”, published this month in the journal Science.

    The doubt you continue to appeal to is not what you think it is. I raised the issue of Dunning-Kruger as, in light of ample evidence, you continue to cling to a certainty you, factually, do not possess. Laws are not what you make them out to be, theories are not what you make them out to be and the uncertainty around AGW simply isn’t there.

  20. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    “there is always room left for uncertainty because that’s just how science operates.” Yatta! You agree with me. This was what I was arguing.

    I really couldn’t care less about the distinction between laws and theories, because I know the difference. I just wanted you to see that there is room left for uncertainty. This was what I was “clinging” to. This idea that there is room for reasonable uncertainty to any statement is the basis for the primary disagreement on AGW. One does not need to reject every fact AGW is based upon in order to not believe it; they just have to hold onto the uncertainty. That’s the sum of what I’ve been meaning. Finally, a resolution, unless you have something to add.

  21. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, you keep using these words. I know they do not mean what you think they mean.

    Uncertainty in a scientific theory doesn’t mean not knowing. It’s a measure of how well something is known. There will always be an element of uncertainty in a scientific theory not because the scientists don’t know what they are doing, but because there’s always a way they can be more certain: another study that can be done, reading to be taken or tool to be developed to improve the confidence level of what is understood.

    You continue to equate less than complete certainty — and methodological and philosophical impossibility of science because of how the discipline is constructed — with not knowing anything.

    This is simply wrong.

    We know to the highest degree of certainty possible (99.99 repeating) that:

    –the burning of fossil fuels releases CO2.

    –the clear-cutting of forests releases CO2

    –that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher than it’s ever been in the history of the planet

    –that the released CO2 traps heat through the greenhouse effect.

    –that other greenhouse gasses related to Co2 trap heat through the greenhouse effect.

    –that sea levels are rising

    –that glaciers and permafrost are shrinking

    –that oceans are becoming more acidic

    –that the ranges of plants and animals are shifting

    –that temperatures are rising

    –that the Earth’s temperatures are rising because these gasses are being released faster than the environment can be naturally absorbed.

    –that the burning of fossil fuels has steadily increased over the last 150 years and rapidly increased over the last 50

    –that the burning of fossil fuels both near and long term directly correlates with the increase in global temperatures world wide.

    What is known at a level of certainty greater than 90% but less that 99.99 repeating is that human activities are the main reason for the world’s temperature increase in the past 50 years.

    What is know at a 99.99% level of certainty is that every other explantation proposed for that temperature increase… from urban heat islands, to albedo changes to orbital dynamics… is not causing the change.

    In the scientific realm — read:the real world — there is simply no “reasonable uncertainty” about AGW. The denial being expressed on the Right is not based on science, facts or probabilities. You have not made your case.

  22. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    I’m not equating uncertainty with not knowing anything. I’m equating uncertainty with uncertainty, a tautology. I suppose we do have a disagreement in the respect that I believe uncertainty is more than just the void of knowing everything.

    If I take your meaning correctly, you state that uncertainty exists, not because the scientists could be wrong, but because they just haven’t proved everything yet. While that could be a component, I don’t believe that’s true unless the subject being expressed is truth. And I posit that, unless one is omniscient, there is a chance that a never-before-thought-of exception to a theory or law exists. Humans, not being omniscient, retain this uncertainty in scientific explanations, meaning that, for a purely, almost insanely logical standpoint, no scientific law or theory has any credibility.

    There are certainly certain points that normal people agree meet the basic parameters of “reasonable assumption” but, without those limitations, all doubt becomes reasonable, because no evidence is reliable – all claims would be based upon ignorance, unless made by an omniscient being. That certainly sounds ludicrous to any normal-minded person, but to anyone who operated on a purely logical level, more logically than even a computer that assumes the commands inserted by a human, it would make perfect sense.

    Of course, humans don’t act on reason alone, which is why my aforementioned claim is so counter-intuitive; it fundamentally counters the intuitive mind. Now, the people who argue AGW are acting logically. They believe that any claim made is false because there is insufficient reliable evidence to support it; without omniscient scientists, they’re correct . They are arguing so logically that it seems insane.

  23. goddoorq says
    November 16, 2010, 6:09 am

    Sorry, I made a mistake. I did not mean to suggest that the skeptics believe that all evidence in support of AGW is a lie, but that they are unwilling to make the assumption that the evidence provided is conclusive. That is based in logic when you take into account the fact that the idea – all evidence provided by an limited being is unreliable – is logical.

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