rally_toad wrote:1. The mean global temperature is not rising.
2. Human beings have no effect on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
3. There is no correlation between Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and global climate.
1. This isn't an issue. Depending on the timeframe in question, most agree there is at least some global warming.
2. I don't know that there's much argument here either. Our society produces carbon dioxide. Lots of it.
3. Here's the point of real disagreement. Data shows that CO2 levels have increased. Except that the way we collect CO2 data today is obviously different from how we determine how much CO2 there was hundreds, thousands, millions of years ago, it seems to be an accepted fact that there's more CO2 now than there was before. So scientific studies have concluded that temperature and CO2 increases are correlated. Hard to argue that, look at the graph (we've all seen it). But does one cause the other? That's a theory which is supported by the correlation. What is not studied (at least not on any significant scale) is any other data that might be correlated to temperature increase or C02 increase. Because we know so little about our climate, our planet, and our solar system that its impossible to correlate to data that we don't have. I don't know what it is. Clouds, sunspots, magnetic fields, gravitational pull from other universes? Who knows.
Its the old argument: roses are flowers, and roses are red, therefore flowers are red. If that's all the data you have, then its a true statement. But once you introduce more data (lets call them daisys and tulips) then all of a sudden the whole hypothesis is wrong.
Jeff MacE wrote:Science is NOT religion, sir...not even close. Pseudoscience may be analogous to a religion for some, however.
True. My point was overstated. Obviously science is not religion, however there is belief that goes into a scientific hypothesis before it is then proven (or attempted to be proven). Facts are gathered to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Discovery
is rarely something that is completely new, but rather something that is found to be different
than that which was previously established.
Creationism vs evolution is the grand poobah. Creationism is based on faith in a (scientifically unprovable) higher power to at least "get the ball rolling". Evolution is based on a faith that there was always something there. I've never seen any scientific study that can explain how this all started. Big bangs don't happen from nothing. Or at least scientists can't explain how absolutely nothing
can explode and suddenly there's matter that can further evolve. There are hypotheses out there, but they have not and can not be proven with the data we currently have. So that takes a belief or faith
in something that can't be proven. That was my reference to science being religion.
JamesLyding wrote:Look at who benefits from putting forth the idea that human beings have caused damage to our climate: people who write books, university scientists, and environmental organizations. Look at who benefits from putting forth the idea that human-caused climate change is a myth: oil companies, right-wing politicians who pander to a certain audience, and think-tanks who benefit from both.
I think it is naïve to think that pandering politicians, think tanks, and corporations only benefit from one side of this debate. There are trillions
of dollars to be made by plenty of evil
corporations (who will certainly draw pandering politicians and their think tanks) who will jump on board whichever side they think they can make the most money on. Oh, and anybody who thinks that the USA is evil, irresponsible, greedy, immoral, etc. Those people also benefit from the human-caused argument. Yes, that's a political argument.
PageRob wrote:Science encourages change. It is one of science's biggest strengths - it isn't about someone being right or wrong, it is about the facts. Think about how much scientific thought has changed in the last 50 years!
I agree with this too. Just today there's all kinds of new news about the planet Mercury. Apparently we just gathered all kinds of data that contradicts all the data we had before. It was an established fact (scientific consensus?) that Mercury was a planet with basically no iron on its surface. Well, now we have data that seems to disprove that entirely. (Rob I concede I read this in the newspaper, and not in a published paper, so I may be missing some details). My point is that scientists know amazingly little about Mercury. And the data they had before lead to a conclusion that is totally different from the conclusion drawn when more data became available. We know more about Earth's climate. But relatively speaking, not much more.
Vaporman wrote:Assuming the data is being collected correctly and that we have enough of it... Even if the globe is slowly warming and cooling in cycles, we don't fully know if that's because of us or just a natural cycle of the planet or related to the cycles of the sun's solar flares. I've recently read that the solar flares are in a lull right now and will build back up around 2012 and in correlation our global temperatures have slightly dipped since the early 2000s.
Yes, data is the key to science. And I notice that we haven't stopped collecting data on the climate. Logic tells me that is because scientists think there is more to learn about our climate. I subsequently draw the conclusion that we don't know enough about it now. (I know, that's a big mental leap to make).
In the US, we have reliable surface temperature readings dating back basically 100 years. Around the rest of the world ... much less. On the oceans ... even less time. We are basically talking about a few decades of very limited data
. Sure there are studies in ice cores and tree rings that can be used to support a hypothesis, but it is hard to argue that is really good data.
Next, there are so many factors that are not known. Solar flares have been mentioned. I've seen studies relating to lower percentages of reflective cloud cover which increases the amount of sun which hits (and heats) the Earth's surface. There's Earth's magnetic field which is supposedly weakening. Animals migrate based on the magnetic field. We don't know how or why, but we know they do. Is it possible that the climate can be affected by it too? I don't know. I'm just asking.
When humans try to mess with nature, we usually learn how insignificant we really are. Lets suppress forest fires. (Um, turned out to be sort of a bad idea). Let's eliminate wolves from an ecosystem because they're killing our cattle. (It never occurred to anybody that this one element of the cycle was critical to so many other things that it caused huge unintended changes to other species, plants, even reducing wetlands/riparian areas. Seriously, did anybody think that eliminating wolves would cause previously fertile river valleys to dry up?)
azpride wrote:Even if Global Warming isn't real, I don't see why people take such issue with motions to conserve energy. If you don't do it because of global warming, do it because no matter what, everyone can agree that earth's resources are limited.
This is something that absolutely everybody should agree on.
JamesLyding wrote:Let's remember that we're all friends here, and that any sort of debate about politics/science/religion/whatever should also include the caveat that the interested parties should be just as good of friends after the debate as they were before the debate.
There are a lot of things here.
I couldn't agree more. I will gladly share a pint, hike, or a campfire with anybody here. And I typically enjoy listening to and understanding viewpoints that may differ from mine.