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  1. #921  
    Written on the list of "Heresies and Other Words I Try to Live by" it says "Given two statements of a problem, I prefer the one that permits of a solution; given two solutions, I prefer the one that is in my own hands."

    One problem that I have with the "view global warming with alarm" crowd is that they offer so few solutions. If perdition is the only choice, one can get there by one's self, as easily without them as with them.

    What I fear is that they will use the coercive and corrupting power of government to force some chosen solution on the rest of us. I think I sense that others here are motivated, not to say incapacitated, by the same fear.
  2. #922  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    The analogy was used to demonstrate that one's religious, political, and other pre-existing belief systems are likely to influence one's assessment of new evidence and acceptance of the conclusions to which that evidence might lead. I found the analogy useful.

    For most of us, many, not to say most, of our beliefs are received wisdom. For some, our willingness to accept new ideas is a function of how well they fit into our existing belief systems. For others, it is a function of how much we trust the source. For all of us, it is some combination of the two. Most of us believe that we are sceptical and that most others are all too credulous.

    However, one interesting finding of social science is that our collective judgment is usually superior to our individual judgment. (The replicable experiment is the "jar of jelly beans" in which the mean guess is closer to the real number than any of the individual guesses and that the agreement between the mean guess and the actual goes up with the number of guessers.) That is why some of us prefer democracy to the most sagacious and benign autocracy.
    not exactly sure what your point is - but I would dispute the notion that science biased by other pre-existing belief systems. It is true that many individual scientists may have their own biases, including a blind belief in pre-existing scientific theories. But the underlying scientific methodology is based on independent and critical thinking. As President Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify" - this is one of the most basic tenets in science. Nothing to do with belief, convictions or "group think". Any scientist who is ambitious, knows that the best way to have a distinguished career is not to spend his/her time validating other people's work, but to challenge them instead and bring out new ideas. Some are extremely ambitious and try to chip away at the foundation of an entire scientific field - many fail, but those that succeed trigger a paradigm shift and are awarded the Nobel prize or equivalent.
    I would challenge you to show me any other system that not only allows but also rewards such paradigm shifts.
    Last edited by chillig35; 10/04/2006 at 08:39 AM.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  3. #923  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Written on the list of "Heresies and Other Words I Try to Live by" it says "Given two statements of a problem, I prefer the one that permits of a solution; given two solutions, I prefer the one that is in my own hands."

    One problem that I have with the "view global warming with alarm" crowd is that they offer so few solutions. If perdition is the only choice, one can get there by one's self, as easily without them as with them.
    Let me get this straight - what you're saying is that you choose to deliberately ignore any bad news and would rather believe somebody else who assures you that there is no problem and that you have do nothing but sit on your hands? I don't know if I would call that being heretical as much as being an ostrich.

    What I fear is that they will use the coercive and corrupting power of government to force some chosen solution on the rest of us.
    for example, the same government that is currently vigorously denying the existence of global warming and supressing a science-based policy to deal with the problem?

    Don't confuse the climate scientists with the gloom and doom left-wing loonies. All that the scientists are trying to say is that there is strong evidence that we have perturbed the global climatic system and though we do not know how bad it will get, we should try and implement some sensible policies to either try to avert or mitigate the outcome. One of the most obvious intervention points is to try and at least not perturb the system further - and this would mean trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There may be other possible solutions to "fix" the problem (for example, there are some proposals for geochemical engineering based approaches, though they sound a bit scary right now), but the first step is that policy makers (and that includes the goverment) and other stakeholders should first admit that there is a problem before trying to work out solutions.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  4. #924  
    Quote Originally Posted by chillig35 View Post
    Let me get this straight - what you're saying is that you choose to deliberately ignore any bad news and would rather believe somebody else who assures you that there is no problem and that you have do nothing but sit on your hands? I don't know if I would call that being heretical as much as being an ostrich.
    It was certainly not my intent to suggest that I ignore any input or choose to believe that which is comforting in preference to bad news. Perhaps others will give me a more charitable reading.

    However, I think that it is fair to say that if we are damned and there is nothing that can be done about it, then I do not plan to spend very much time worrying about it. I do not attribute that assessment to "science" so much as those who are relying on it to advocate for I know not what.

    As a non-scientist, scientific assessments come to me on a par with scripture; both are received wisdom. Based upon my education and life experience, my sympathy is with science. I prefer the scientific method as a means of appreciating the universe to "revelations" from God, reported to me as hearsay, and attributed to "prophets" long since dead. However, I do not delude myself that, epistemologically, I "know" as the result of one differently than I do of the other. (A scientist may know in his specialty; however, in others, he knows no better than I do.)

    Also on my list of heresies is the prayer of Francis of Assisi, "Lord give me the courage to change those thing which I can change, the patience to endure those things that I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference." We seem to be in the space of two and three rather than failing at one.

    I am not here in the role of advocate for any truth or policy. I am here as a sceptic hoping for enlightenment. However, as a sceptic, I am aware of the inherent limitations of any such enlightenment. It is my hope that we are not as likely to err collectively as we are individually.

    It must be wonderful to be one of those who knows with great confidence. Nonetheless, I continue to be struck by the sparse agreement among you. As a boy, I was struck by both the confidence and the agreement. I was convinced that there was a Truth, that those who pretended to really knew it, and that when I came of age they would reveal it to me. In the twilight of a very long life I am both agnostic and convinced that it is not given to me to know with the confidence that others pretend to enjoy.

    To the extent that I advocate at all, I do so not from certainty but from doubt. In the presence of uncertainty, a prudent man will act conservatively. "First," he will "do no harm."
  5. #925  
    whmurray - very well put! And a very reasonable stance, especially being skeptical about "received wisdom".

    When it comes to global warming , there are two levels of skepticism - first whether there is a problem in the first place (i.e. is global warming "real"?) and second whether we are helpless to do anything about it and therefore are doomed no matter what. Most scientists are quite skeptical about the second issue, and in fact are collectively trying to come up with possible solutions. Skepticism on the first level is unfortunately not being driven by scientific debate but rather by vested political interests.

    Perhaps you should be a bit more skeptical of those who would try to equate a tiny minority viewpoint with there being "sparse agreement" among scientists. That was exactly the point I was trying to make with my HIV/AIDS analogy - there will always be some disagreement between scientists, but when there is only a tiny minority with a dissenting theory, then it is unconscionable to label that as "sparse agreement" to justify inaction in the face of public health concerns.

    It is unfortunate that you would equate scientific assessments on par with scriptures. Scientific assessments can always be critically examined and challenged - even by a non-scientist if he/she is so inclined to spend the time and effort. But as you said, in the case of scriptures, you will ultimately have to settle for "hearsay" versus critical examination. Gary Zukov best said it - "Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion; rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science."

    And it is not true that scientists do not "know" anything much outside their speciality - in fact some of the best scientists have made major contributions to fields of science outside their speciality. For example Max Delbruck was trained as a physicist and worked besides the likes of Bohr and Einstein, but he ended up getting the Nobel prize in medicine for his work in molecular genetics.

    In the presence of uncertainty, a prudent man will act conservatively.
    I'm sorry - but this is classic "paralysis by analysis" thinking and merely justifies inaction to maintain status quo.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  6. #926  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    A scientist may know in his specialty; however, in others, he knows no better than I do.
    Science is a method. Since I know from experience how this method is applied in, say, molecular biology, I know that the same method will result in similarly valid results in other fields. Science is a totally "open source" system, materials and methods always have to be totally transparent, and results only gain significance once they have been reproduced independently. That doesn't mean errors cannot happen and hypotheses cannot be overthrown in the light of new evidence, but it is a very stable and reliable system.
    In the presence of uncertainty, a prudent man will act conservatively. "First," he will "do no harm."
    When discussing global warming, acting conservatively means "conserving" present day CO2 levels and working against further raising them without knowing for sure how catastrophic the result may be.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  7. #927  
    Interesting article:

    Global warming: Here come the lawyers

    Since Katrina's fury was powered by unusually warm Gulf water, and since such warmth could result from global warming, companies that have pumped the atmosphere full of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide should be liable for damages, they figured. "To me, Katrina was a clear result of irresponsible behavior by the carbon-emissions corporate economy," says Maples.

    --------

    At least 16 cases, drawing on a variety of legal strategies, are pending in federal or state court...............What's more, plaintiffs can have an impact without prevailing in court. The mere threat of obesity lawsuits, for example, has sent soft drink and junk food purveyors scrambling to change their products and improve their public images. In fact, the ultimate goal for environmentalists isn't necessarily to win cases but to ratchet up the pressure on business and politicians to impose mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

    -----------

    In another case, Connecticut and other states have taken on five electric utilities, seeking to limit their carbon emissions. In San Francisco, a group led by Friends of the Earth has sued to force the Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. to consider the greenhouse gases emitted by the projects they help finance. Battle is also being waged in California over auto emissions. The state proposed ambitious regulations and was promptly sued by automakers. In late September, Attorney General Bill Lockyer countersued. He alleges harm from climate change, such as reduced water supplies, caused by greenhouse gases spewing from cars.

    ---------------

    Even more litigation could be in the offing. Stanford University and others plan symposiums on legal responses to global climate change. And Stephen D. Susman, one of the nation's top trial lawyers, is making the issue a personal crusade.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14945219/from/id/15400060
  8. #928  
    Okay.....this is it. I am 100% convinced. In all seriosness, after reviewing the evidence here, I have little doubt of the growing impact of Global Warming:
    Attached Images Attached Images
  9. #929  
    Last edited by ToolkiT; 01/31/2007 at 01:40 AM. Reason: language
  10. #930  
    In my mind, the only question that remains is why were people in denial for so long?

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline...e_change_.html
  11. #931  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    In my mind, the only question that remains is why were people in denial for so long?
    Many reasons:
    - Party loyalty: Republicans say so, their fanbase will follow.
    - Hits close to home: up until this year and last the American public hadn't really noticed. But the temperatures around christmas time this year, for example, have made it real hard to ignore. Even Pat Robertson has changed his mind in the last year.
    - Media: Since the media (soooo liberal that they are ) must present both sides of a story (particularly politically charged ones like these) even though it's so obvious one side is based on manipulated facts, the media has had to present both 'sides' of this argument.

    -Money: It's funny that when you read a climate change story, you can always google the author's name and find out, in mere moments, their affiliation with big oil companies such as exxon. And just today:

    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian
    Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

    Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  12. #932  
    47 pages? I am not going to read anymore than page one and state my opinion. 70% of the earth is made of water, global warming occurs water evaporates and turns into clouds. Clouds block sun. Global cooling begins.
  13. #933  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    In my mind, the only question that remains is why were people in denial for so long?

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline...e_change_.html
    Impotence. People are reluctant to acknowledge problems that they are unable to solve, particularly when others are blaming them.
  14. #934  
    Quote Originally Posted by g-funkster View Post
    Many reasons:
    - Party loyalty: Republicans say so, their fanbase will follow.
    ...........
    I do not understand this assertion. However, one sees this problem, it certainly spans nations, parties, administrations, and congresses. How can it be a partisan issue?
  15. #935  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    I do not understand this assertion. However, one sees this problem, it certainly spans nations, parties, administrations, and congresses. How can it be a partisan issue?
    You must be living under a rock. How about this example of how the White House barred John Negroponte from saying the words 'global' and 'warming' in the same sentence.
  16. #936  
    Quote Originally Posted by g-funkster View Post
    You must be living under a rock. How about this example of how the White House barred John Negroponte from saying the words 'global' and 'warming' in the same sentence.
    One can be aware and still not understand that of which one is aware.

    (Your example cites cocktail party chatter to assert something that could hardly be true. While this White House may be more disciplined than most, it is difficult to believe that it could exercise that kind of control over staffers, much less a cabinet officer. However, what I do not understand is why they would want to. The problem was there when they arrived and will be there when they leave. It is as difficult to ignore as the pink elephant in the corner. Not acknowledging it will not make it go away or change its color. )
  17. #937  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    ....It is as difficult to ignore as the pink elephant in the corner....
    Molly Ivins says that the reason "W" wears those pointy-toed boots is specifically so that he can stomp pink elephants, even when they hide in the corner.
  18. #938  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Molly Ivins says that the reason "W" wears those pointy-toed boots is specifically so that he can stomp pink elephants, even when they hide in the corner.
    Rumor has it that pink elephant sightings are still very common in Crawford.
  19. #939  
    Quote Originally Posted by g-funkster View Post
    Many reasons:
    - Party loyalty: Republicans say so, their fanbase will follow.
    - Hits close to home: up until this year and last the American public hadn't really noticed. But the temperatures around christmas time this year, for example, have made it real hard to ignore. Even Pat Robertson has changed his mind in the last year.
    - Media: Since the media (soooo liberal that they are ) must present both sides of a story (particularly politically charged ones like these) even though it's so obvious one side is based on manipulated facts, the media has had to present both 'sides' of this argument.

    -Money: It's funny that when you read a climate change story, you can always google the author's name and find out, in mere moments, their affiliation with big oil companies such as exxon. And just today:
    Ignoring science at the risk of harming the world environment for future generations was arrogant. I am glad that we do not have to argue anymore about this.
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    #940  
    meh, I don't know..... I still want to see more proof.












    just kidding
    I gotta have more cowbell

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