For the Louisville Forecast/Severe Outlook Discussion, look to the preceding post.
The line above from Jack in A Few Good Men is one that both sides the in the Global Warming debate might use. The problem is that it cannot be used by either side because speaking in absolutes is generally impossible. Further, it should not be about sides and, no one ever considers there may be more positions out there than just two. But, stories continue in the media that ignore not only the facts within the debate, but facts concerning the debate itself.
Look at this contrast in these two stories. The first is from Salon.com from Feb. 2008 and it states in the beginning that “Deniers continue to insist there’s no consensus on global warming. Well, there’s not. There’s well-tested science and real-world observations.” However, if you look at the second article from Worldnetdaily.com from May of 2008 and it says that over 31,000 scientists including 9000 PhD’s in Atmospheric, Climate, Environment and other disciplines signed a petition that says the following: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate,”
Now…Whom do you believe? It’s hard to make a choice. One reader sent me an email that said she could tell we were in trouble because the glaciers were melting in Glacier National Park and Kilimanjaro snow was disappearing. That, I pointed out fit in well with Sierra Club founder John Muir’s observations from 1870 when he observed that the glaciers in the Sierra were melting due to rapidly warming global temperatures. That was well before anyone suggested man induced global warming. Observations of melting ice or even warming temperatures does not get to the root the source of the warming.
The Salon article says, “The science isn’t settled — it’s unsettling, and getting more so every year as the scientific community learns more about the catastrophic consequences of uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions.” The Worldnetdaily article claims that “In the course of this campaign, many scientifically invalid claims about impending climate emergencies are being made.”
People tend to choose whom to believe based on their political beliefs. In short, we believe what we want to believe and let others determine our mindset. There should not be one side vs the other side. This should not be a political debate where one side tries to score points on the other. It should be a search for facts and truth but instead, you have writers like the one from Salon who begins a paragraph with “But I do think the scientific community, the progressive community, environmentalists and media are making a serious mistake by using the word “consensus” to describe…” That sentence alone says two things. First off, the writer is defining his team….his side…the good guys. It’s about winning. The other interesting thing is who he puts on his team. he includes the media as being on his side! Hmmm… He also has decided the entire scientific community is on his side when in fact, we know that over 31,000 from that community do not want to be on his team. The Worldnetdaily article lays out its team. By saying “It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice” it is suggesting that their opposition are not Americans. It goes on to talk about Al Gore’s movie has scientific data with “…many very serious incorrect claims which no informed, honest scientist could endorse…” In short, our scientists are better than your scientists.
It is my view that, unless you demand that the politics be removed from the debate, there will most likely be huge mistakes made one way or another. This should not be about sides. It should be about truth, facts and determining if there is a problem, can it be solved or even, should it be solved. Will the results be such that resources could be better used to combat poverty, disease or hunger? At this point, it seems that it’s either we need to change our whole way of life or we’re doomed…or….it’s if we spend all of this money then we are doomed and you can kiss the freedom and democracy of the US goodbye.
Niels Bohr, the famous physicist once said, “prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” This is very true and we must realize that no one can know for certain what the future holds or the cause of any change. The media leads us to believe that we are that smart. Al Gore makes it sound like that we absolutely know the truth when he can’t even make a movie without faking scenes using computer graphics from another gloom and doom movie.
Here are the two articles. Look at the difference. The Salon article is long.