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Human climate disruption [Jun. 18th, 2006|09:27 pm]
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Update post coming soon, but first:

I read this annoying editorial in the newspaper this morning about global warming (which I'm going to refer to as "human climate disruption" instead, because calling it "global warming" misleads the discussion). Actually, I only read about half of it, because as I said, it was annoying.

I was pondering a counter-letter to the editor, but then I realized that it was unlikely to do any good if I didn't address the issues in contention. If you're going to try and change somebody's mind with new information, you have to figure out what information would actually matter, or all you're going to do is add heat to the disagreement.

And so, a quiz:

So, whaddaya think about anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change?

A) It's totally happening
B) A lot of people say it's true, but I'm not convinced
C) I hear arguments for and against, and I'm not sure what to think
D) I think it's some kind of hoax
E) Other

If you answered anything other than A, I'd like to try and change your mind, so leave a comment explaning why (generally speaking) you don't find the idea persuasive.

I was thinking that I'd write a short explanation of the physics involved, because it's actually pretty straightforward. But I want to know whether that's actually where the disagreement arises...

[User Picture]From: boat_of_car
2006-06-19 04:41 pm (UTC)

wierd science

Sorry, Doc...you are certainly one of the most intelligent and insightful people I have ever met, and yet you seem convinced of something I can't bring myself to belive is the whole truth. its funny that I find myself agreeing with most of what's been said...so I'll just add my own $1.50.

It is true that the climate has become gradually 'hotter' in the history of recorded climatology and geology- that's a known , true fact. The same for many of the things that the global-warming crowd points to- the oceans are higher, the poles are thawing etc etc etc. My problem is that most of this data seems to be taken as 'the record', rather than the small piece of actual earth history that it represents: whether you believe that the earth is 1000 years old or 3 billion, you can see a pattern in the geologic record of climactic change of huge proportions. It seems to me, that taken as a whole, we should of course expect that things will get generally warmer, because it appears (to me) we are in that part of the cycle. Someday, the poles will shift or something, and we'll begin to get cooler.

This is not to say that humans are not to blame for a great many of the environmental issues, and may in fact be to blame for an *accelleration* of the warming effect- we actually probably are. We clearly consume natual and mineral resources at an alarming rate, and produce nasty byproducts that take thousands of years to be turned back into anything useful, so it's a given that we'll run out. I just don't think its quite as swift as some want us to believe.

And I also agree with the comments about not having a reliable, trustworthy source...everyone in this seems to have an agenda of some kind- even, I'm very sad to say, the esteemed Doctor himself...
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[User Picture]From: psyclonic
2006-06-20 10:07 pm (UTC)

Re: wierd science

Reading this I get the sense that you feel you disagree with DocTec more than you actually do:-) Anthropogenic climate change may occur simultaneously with natural climate change, hence the extreme cloudiness (ha) of the issue. One can believe that our industrial output affects the climate without believing that it has any significant effect as a consequence. There's no necessary conflict, tho as it happens A is often assumed to be a primary causer of B. Whether that is correct or not is a related but separate discussion.

As far as agendas go, that word has become so polarized that it needs to be relegated solely to its polar function; that is, indicative of a self-serving goal. I'd characterize DocTec's "agenda" as educational, as much for himself as for poll respondents, aka non-self-serving. Otherwise all Science could be agenderized, same with all Politics and all Religion. Art. too.

OMG, and LJ! FLEE!

BTW nice username. Once the coasts are flooded by human-caused global warming (sinking Manhattan first of course), many cars will discover their boat nature :P

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[User Picture]From: boat_of_car
2006-06-22 03:23 am (UTC)

Re: wierd science

I was mostly just teasing him.

Of course he meant only the best
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