Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Melina tweeted a couple of times this week about Blog Action Day, but the thought got lodged in the back of my head somewhere and didn’t come forward until I noticed hers and Tina’s blog posts.

So I’m completely unprepared, and I considered posting nothing but a link to Google’s search results for “percentage of scientists who believe in global warming”. Because that should be enough, shouldn’t it?

The Global Warming issue is very frustrating. The people who are calling it a myth have all different reasons. Some say it’s not really happening but others say it’s perfectly natural. Some say it’s caused by geothermal forces from under the ocean while others point to melting ice on Mars as proof that it’s not our fault. And every time it snows an army of idiots wakes up and rehearses the same global warming jokes they told the last time it snowed. Even if the deniers outnumbered the believers, they would still just be factions of differing opinions, joined solely by unwillingness to take action.

While the deniers and believers point to each other and say “Idiot”, one interesting fact remains. There are some very intelligent people on both sides. Apparently, denying the reality of man-made global warming doesn’t prove that you’re an idiot (Don’t get confused: Basing that denial on a recent cold snap does).

So if you’re a denier, and base your denial on the research of respectable scientists, I’ll try real hard to hold off on calling you an idiot. The majority of scientists are believers, but you can cobble together an impressive list of scientists who aren’t.

You should still support global warming legislation. Mainly, because I have more scientists than you do, but also because even if you had the majority, and all I had was close to half, I’d still have an impressive number of them warning of an impending global disaster that must be averted by taking serious steps to reduce carbon emissions. What if I was pointing a revolver at you and you knew I only had two bullets. Wouldn’t you take action to keep me from pulling the trigger?

Maybe someday you’ll make an derisive comment about me and I’ll sheepishly smile and admit that I was one of those dopes who believed in the global warming crisis, just like I’ll admit today that I had water stored up in buckets ten years ago. I’ve made some bad decisions based on “expert” opinions. But even though the experts are sometimes wrong, you’ll more often than not do better if you follow the advice of the expert majority rather than follow the advice of those who are saying what you want to hear. The numbers are on my side.

Let’s give the majority of climatologists the benefit of the doubt.

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3 Comments

  1. JeffM

     /  2009 October 16th

    “But even though the experts are sometimes wrong, you’ll more often than not do better if you follow the advice of the expert majority rather than follow the advice of those who are saying what you want to hear.”

    Good point, but not this time. The stakes are way too high. And too many of these experts are refusing to provide their research data to an independent reviewer who would try and replicate the research. Some experts advocate lying to achieve their activist goals. Most damnable of all is the fact that global warming science no longer has to conform to critical scrutiny of other scientists…and other scientist-experts have learned a basic climate-related equation: keeping mouth shut = keeping paycheck.

    Reply
    • bnmng

       /  2009 October 17th

      In appreciation for your non-insulting counterpoint, I’ll include something I wouldn’t otherwise want to admit: While searching, I found far more denier articles than I expected. I was expecting to find all kinds of hits for my side under a search on “peer review”, and none for yours, and I was surprised by the results. Point you.

      But a very large amount of climatologists who believe in global warming have, indeed, had their research reviewed. You may be correct that some have refused to turn their work over to some reviewers, but there’s a too much global warming information out there for me to believe that the science is being kept hidden.

      As for the stakes being too high, that’s my point. I think the danger of not supporting global warming legislation far outweighs the risk of doing so.

      The sad fact is that one way or another, some of these geniuses are either lying or just plain wrong. I don’t think there’s a group of evil scientists plotting to destroy the world, but even righteous and intelligent people can be thrown off by short-term self-interest. And the paychecks come from both sides, so scientists can be swayed in either direction. But while I understand why an oil company would discourage a scientist from presenting evidence that supports the existence of human-caused global warming, I don’t understand why an educational institution would discourage a scientist from presenting evidence against it. Understandably, if an institution has already presented evidence on global warming, that institution would not want to contradict itself, but that doesn’t explain how how it came to its original conclusion. So I believe that scientists who claim to be worried about global warming are less likely to be swayed by non-scientific factors.

      And I still have more scientists.

      Reply
  2. JeffM

     /  2009 October 19th

    Don’t you believe that educational institutions receive considerable funding and prestige from Federal research grants, and that these are to be coveted? Don’t you believe that scientists covet their research jobs funded by these grants? Given the flux of graduates entering the “new” field of climatology, don’t you believe they possess tremendous zeal and enthusiasm, fostered by belief in and dedication to the AGW position? Don’t you believe that honorable men of science have only to focus on their own piece of the action, and keeping their mouth shut as activist brethren co-opt their work and twist it into whatever self-serving shape they can?

    We’re often told we must RUSH into switching to an “alternative energy/reduced CO2 solution”. Why is that so? Could it be that chances for a political solution diminish as new peer reviewed ant-AGW science emerges? There has been a time when getting “skeptical” science published was really tough, but that seems to be changing. Such barriers seem to be rapidly collapsing. Why did they ever exist?

    As more scientific information becomes available to refute what the IPCC and others have said, observed weather has also thrown cold water on global warming claims. Despite ever increasing CO2, global temps have stopped rising.

    Anti-AGW proponents find their voices getting wider audiences. For example, one result of this has been a presentation by Monckton to the Minnesota Free Market Institute this past week, which is compelling in its condemnation of the classical AGW scientific position. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stij8sUybx0&feature=PlayList&p=B1796336D24B428C&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=18 for the presentation. The companion slides can be found at http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/monckton_2009.pdf . Skip the intro portion…only a skeptic could love it. The rest is worth watching, especially if you’re a warmer and need to know the magnitude of what you’re up against.

    Since global warming stopped some 12 years ago, I see no need to rush into any “solution” for it. The world is still getting colder. Given the horrible cure being proposed, we need to go slowly. We need to throw some government money to support anti-AGW science, if only in the interests of due diligence. All other money is tainted, so it has to be government money. Of course, no government money for this purpose will ever be forthcoming, will it? Supporters of AGW science don’t want to discover that there’s no danger, no impending calamity, no public humiliation, no professional embarrasment, no political repercussions, and no loss of government grants/jobs for AGW research. And big business wants to be given free carbon credits, redeemable at their local broker’s office for millions of dollars.

    Reply

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