Comments: QUESTION

Of course we can know the truth. All we have to do is live a couple of more centuries. Heh.


I think the truth probabaly lies somewhere in the middle and we have to keep studying both sides without doing anything drastic.

Posted by Pamela at October 1, 2006 09:34 AM

There is no way we can know. I personally believe we give humans way too much credit about global warming. I believe all the modelers have their own agendas, right now global warming is getting a lion's share of grant money, and the POWER to get publicity and more. I have been married to a marine scientist for 48 years and have been on the scene with many discussions of this and seen some with my own eyes. I am very cynical about it. It is now a huge political issue. Once politics enters in so it can be seen by all, science is really corrupted. It has been corrupted in secret for a long, long time. I have observed that my husband was very slow to admit that some of his beloved scientists might have a political agenda.
He now realizes it and it has really burst his bubble. (I sure hope he never sees this !)

Posted by Ruth H at October 1, 2006 09:35 AM

Sure, there is a way. It is science, after all, not dogma granted from on high, and therefore, trustworthy data is repeatable by anyone at all. You don't even need a college degree to do it. This is what seperates science from philisophical opinion and moral certainties...you don't have to take anyone's word for it yourself, you go see if it works our not.

The problem, of course, is that global warming covers so many different disciplines. You need to learn quite a bit before you yourself can go out and construct verifiable climate models. but you can learn enough to check the data. It takes quite a bit of work to produce valid data for consumption, but it doesn't always take as much knowledge to find flaws in methodology, point out ill concieved assumptions, and maybe do some of the work yourself to try and replicate the resultes from the existing data, even though you can't gather it yourself you can maybe get away with your own analysis and come to your own conclusions. It can even be done as a group, with everyone checking the work of everyone else to ensure quality.

Or you can trust others to tell you what it all means. Most people do exactly that, and allow themselves to be led in the direction they were already leaning anyway, and discard the conclusions of others as wrong. When you have multiple sources of authority telling you different things, its easy to choose one that feels good or otherwise satisfies some internal need, then you can declare the other authorities as insufficiently authoritative and just ignore them.

There's something to be said for both methods. With the first, you can arrive at a conclusion that is your own, unhampered by the opinions of others. You might even come up with the right answers. Of course, you'll have to spend some time on it, and the more complex the issue, the more time you must take to educate and perform the work. With the other method, you have plenty of time to do other things and feel secure in knowing you are doing something that is otherwise personally productive...but you may be settling for less and never knowing it.

Call it an intellectual law of scarcity.

Posted by Jason at October 1, 2006 12:05 PM

I stand firm on my opinion that we do not know and what's more we cannot know. We are not allowed enough time on earth to know the exact past, we surely do not know the future and modeling just doesn't cut it. We can forecast trends in weather, we cannot predict volcanic activity, meteors, and other phenomenon that cause changes in the atmosphere and climate. Even if we could, we could not do much about it. Stop a volcanic eruption? not in the next hundred years. And if we could, what about the unintended consequneces? Our lives are undpredictable and so is that of the earth, in the long run.

Posted by Ruth H at October 1, 2006 06:48 PM

I found this yesterday.

http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759


It makes some interesting reading about how the media has changed over the years. Global Warming is only today's cause celeb. The real problem the media has is being questioned about their objectivity. The term that George Orwell used in "1984" was doublethink. Wikipedia defines it as thus:

Doublethink

"The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink." (1984)

I guess that the more things change the more they remain the same.

Posted by SciFiJim at October 1, 2006 07:34 PM

I'm a big fan of global warming as long as the earth survives and only human civilization is destroyed. "Civilization" is becoming a real pain in the ass to me and my rabbit kind.

Posted by Will at October 1, 2006 10:53 PM

There are a few simple things to keep in mind when reading anything on global warming, no matter which side it promotes:

1. The earth's climate is NOT static. The temperature that we currently enjoy is not the normal temperature. The fact is, there is NO normal temperature.

2. The climate has been warmer in the past than it is now.

3. The climate has been colder in the past than it is now.

4. Extreme temperature shifts have caused mass extinctions in the past, and will do so again in the future.

5. The only way for humans as a species to survive any changes is to adapt. There is nothing that can be done to change the fact that the climate changes, sometimes drastically.

6. A warmer planet is not neccessarily a bad thing.

Keep those things in mind when reading anything on global warming.

Posted by John at October 4, 2006 11:19 AM