Science and Global Warming

Over the past few weeks I have had many opportunities to discuss the theory of anthropogenic global warming with a variety of people.  Most of these people have little to no scientific background, but they were shocked to find that I was a skeptic of the theory that the CO2 emissions would cause the Earth to warm up.  One of these people is a member of a national college debate team.  That discussion was interesting because science played no role, it was all about the number of people that support global warming and those that are skeptical of global warming.

Discussing the science of global warming takes a while.  It took me a whole book to detail the science against the theory of global warming.  The proxy against an actual discussion of the science is to ask skeptics “How can the theory be wrong when scientists think it is correct?”  There is nothing scientific about this question, it is simply an appeal to authority.

A while back I wrote this article about competing scientific theories.  In science it is common that differing theories are very contradictory to each other.  The thing that is more impressive about the case study of competing scientific theories is that the scientists involved in the velociraptor debate did not call the other side flat-earthers or anti-science.  They simply presented their evidence and proceed forward trying to find more evidence to support their theory.  At least from what I have seen, they have remained civil, even while they have competing theories.

This has not happened in the global warming debate.  Nor is most of the evidence that is presented by the warmists science.  Presenting a picture of a glacier is not scientific evidence.  That is an emotional appeal that is designed to bypass a scientific analysis.  Much of what I discuss on this website is related to the Fear and Misinformation that is presented as science, but is really an emotional appeal.

One recent study fro Yale found that lack of science plays no role in a person’s view of global warming.  Of the 1,500 people involved in their study they found that skeptics scored as well at scientific literacy as any other group.  The more education and scientific literacy a person had, really determined how strong their views were about global warming.  The polarization increased with scientific literacy and critical thinking skills.

Consider that for a moment.  The best indicator for being a strong global warming skeptic is having a high level of scientific literacy, but a differing world view.  I can only speak for myself in this, but I know that when I started my research I was only trying to determine the science.  If I had found the science convincing, I would be supporting the theory of global warming.  I was a bit surprised to find out just how misleading much of the scientific arguments for global warming are.  It is perhaps the greatest FUBAR in scientific history.

The problem for the warmists today is that the public is losing interest in global warming.  The Earth is not changing as they predicted 20 years ago.  It is 2012 and we don’t have flying cars and winter is still cold (some years more and some years less).  In Boise, Idaho we had fresh snow on the mountains a few days back. It was the latest snow I have ever seen fall.  This picture was taken on June 9th, 2012 in the afternoon.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

I took this picture on my phone while running errands. Fresh snow in early June is very unusual.

While there has been recent news about the Spring in the United States being unusually warm, there was nothing unusual with the temperature globally.  It is that cherry picking of news to push global warming that is so frustrating and distracting for those that are looking at the science.  Skeptics spend their time looking at the silly news about weather events (like the unusual snow in June which ended up shortening a local triathlon).

The latest global silliness has to do with sustainability.  I am all for sustainable energy and efficient use of resources, but that is not what this program is about.  I have not yet had time to delve into the depths of this, but I will be studying this issue more in the next few weeks.  The human race has a long history of doom and gloom predications that never pan out.  One hundred years ago it was predicted that cities would not be able to cope with all the horse manure.  Then it was the Earth could not handle 4 billion people, then 5 billion, 6 billion and so forth.  Today there are 7 billion people and the overall standard of living is higher than it has ever been before.

The biggest problems today are self limiting because of fear.  That is the real weapon that is used to push global warming, biodiversity, ocean acidification and sustainability.  Science does not support any of these fears, yet the push for them remains.  If they do come up with a scientifically sound danger, I will let you know.

Posted in Skeptic by inconvenientskeptic on June 13th, 2012 at 4:52 pm.


This post has 5 comments

  1. Good post. It reminded me of the following quote:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    – H.L. Mencken

  2. Joris Vanderborght Jun 15th 2012

    Yesterday evening I watched a BBC documentary about which people and which decisions caused the current pandemic of obesity. One of the stories was about what was the main culprit: fat or sugar. What was clear that that scientific debate on that didn’t go well and the guy who was right was completely wracked. One might look into the debate about cholesterol also. Again one sees patterns which are similar to the barbarism of the debate about global warming. I am afraid that the civility of the velociraptor discussion is more an exception than it is a rule.

  3. Alan D McIntire Jun 23rd 2012

    “The more education and scientific literacy a person had, really determined how strong their views were about global warming”. I suspect that the original goal of the study was to verify that skeptics were less scientifically literate than gullible believers. When this didn’t pan out, they threw in BS about egalitarianism- another word for socialism. . Note that the study specified that among ALL people, there was an inverse correlation between scientific literacy and belief in CAGW

  4. Alan D McIntire Jun 23rd 2012

    Adding to my prior comment. The study showed that IN GENERAL, the more scientifically literate people are, the more skeptical they are. Taking action as AGW apologists, they tried to twist the study to reach the trite
    conclusion that the more socialistic one’s views, the more they push socialist policies.

  5. It is really not surprising that the more knowledgeable one is about science, the less likely you are to believe in AGW. In arguing with those self-described “skeptics” of pseudoscience, it is often quite clear that these individuals realize talking to the dead is not scientific, but when confronted with complex scientific ideas, they often show very little understanding of the actual scientific process. They will wholeheartedly support the fake science of AGW and the behaviors that go with it. If your background is in “hard science”, as in chemistry, physics, etc, you understand that, as John pointed out, that scientists do not call each other names to “win”. I do think actual science that is not tainted by big money or too many personal injury lawsuits works in a civil fashion. It’s when competition for money and fame are introduced that the discussion becomes angry and name-calling arrives. In today’s society, science has become dangerously entangled with politics. Some of the studies accepted by “science” today would have earned me a failing grade in Chemistry and probably even psychology. It certainly would have resulted in failing statistics class. Without people having proper education, it is very easy to scare people.
    We could use some of that snow in Wyoming where it’s 90 degrees, very dry and there are multiple fires. I have to keep reminding people this is NOT unusual. And I generally give them historical data to support this. IN 2001, June looked much like it does now–hot and smokey. Yet in some Junes past, there was snow on the 9th. The only pattern to weather is there is virtually no pattern.

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