First, let me congratulate you on living so long. Anyone who met Oppenheimer as an adult must be getting up there in years. I (and I mean this honestly) venerate you for the life experiences you have had. However, I respectfully submitt on this issue you are mistaken. I am also tempted to take you on for your tag line, but that will have to wait for a future post.
[quote author=“Conservative Atheist”]Guest # 2
Please go back and carefully read my last post and your response again.
I did. You said:
Global warming/climate change is either a huge problem or…………. it isn’t.
While a growing number of scientists are warning about global warming, only a few years ago, many of these same scientists were forecasting another immanent ice age. Other well respected scientists downplay the current apparent warming trends as part of the natural cycle of heating and cooling that the earth has undergone numerous times throughout its history.
Explain to us who these well respected scientist are. The oil/coal/auto industry has marched out a few non-well respected so-called scientists over the years, paid them handsomly, and they have “raised questions” in an attempt to obsfucate. One of the books I referenced: Leggett, J. (2001). “The Carbon War”, gives a detailed account of who the “reputable scientists” are and what they did to undermine the negotiations on carbon reductions.
I tried to lay out the perspective from the layman’s viewpoint without ANY political spin. Nothing that I posted came from the Whitehouse. It was strictly my interpretation of the reporting that has appeared in the main stream press.
Wait a minute. Are you a layman or a physicist?
The verbiage you use is exactly what is coming out of the bush whitehouse. It was written by the coal and oil industry lobbyists. The mainstream press gets a hardon when they get quotes from that source. You are extreamly naive to believe that Nightly News or Fox News is a good source of balanced reporting.
Virtually every article in the press contains both the global warming lobby position and the skeptic’s views. I stand by my assessment that, to the man in the street, it looks like science is totally divided on the issue of global warming and, in addition, has relatively little credibility with the public.
Lets try to get one thing straight. There is no such thing as the “global warming lobby”. There are environmentalist lobbies who you might be referring to. But the scientists who actually do this work for a living are not lobbying. The Union of Concerned Scientists comes the closest to a “lobby” but ask yourself, what are they selling. Survival of humanity is the correct answer.
Now ask yourself why does it seem that scientist are divided. Is it because scientists ARE divided? No. The literature list I provided you will show that this is not the case. The reason “the man in the street” is confused is because the real lobbies (the folks who have something to sell and make a profit from) have coerced, or more likely simply convinced, the current administration that saying that scientists are divided should quell the storm. You, my friend, seem to be a victim of this propaganda. Are you a “man in the street”?
The “mainstream media” are easily deluded for the simple reason that they have no one who is capable of making a critical judgement on these issues. The average “science” reporter is lucky to have a college degree in biology. They are, furthermore, eager to feed at the trough of the administration news conference. They will take any bone the admin throws them. If you want to get science news then read Nature, or Science or Scientific American.
One of the reasons that the environmental lobby has so little credibility with the public is that they have taken very strident positions on thousands of relatively trivial issues that the public simply does not take seriously. How many jokes have you heard about the Gnat-Catcher holding up highways, housing, etc. in California?
So you are talking about environmentalist, not climate scientists, after all. I’ll make no excuses for activists who care about nature. I think they serve a useful purpose, but can we please stick to science?
Their hand-wringing over oil drilling in Alaska while people are paying $3.00 for gas at the pump and the caribou herds are thriving is another example of credibility gone down the toilet.
And your proof about the caribou herds is??? Actually I am rather liking the high price of gas. At least it starts to be honest about what things cost. Again, I will not make excuses for environmentalist claims. But here is a real critical question. Exactly how much additional oil do you think ANWR will produce? Do you really believe drilling in Alaska is a solution? If so then you had better take the time to read more of the books on the recommended reading list. The ones on oil, incidentally, are by physicists - right up your alley.
I am trying to tell you that the global warming science community has failed to effectively communicate and make their case with the man on the street (and with a lot of politicians). You may want to blame that on Bush and Karl Rove but they have really been relatively silent on this topic.
The burden of proof and the responsibility to convince the politicians and the public rests squarely with the scientists who believe that they have the supporting evidence.
I’ve already responded somewhat to this point. The scientist have done their jobs, and are continuing to do so. It is the politicians who have failed. We elect people we think are smart enough to understand the science and technology so that they can formulate sensible policy. Turns out to be a false faith! (I had to get us back to Sam’s points!!!)
Many years ago when I was a young math/physics student, I had the opportunity to meet and spend a couple of days with Robert Oppenheimer the father of the atomic bomb. I asked him what he found to be the most difficult aspect of the Manhattan Project. He said that it was trying to communicate the implications of the science to the politicians and the military and for the politicians, generals and the scientists to mutually understand the military and political impact of the weapon and its potential use.
He said that, although each community had a sincere and vital interest in understanding the other, they had great difficulty and ultimately failed to effectively communicate because they essentially spoke different languages.
You may want to read “Hiroshima : Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb” by Ronald Takaki to see why the politicians failed to speak the same language as the scientists. Take a close look at Harry Truman’s background and motives (as revealed in letters to his mother and wife). The fact is that the politicians are happy to take on the responsibility for formulating policy. If they are incapable of understanding the science then they should get the hell out of the business. That is, if we want a world that uses science and technology for the benefit of humanity.
You may not like my opinion but, as a relatively scientifically aware layman with degrees in mathematics and physics, I have not yet seen anything definitive on this topic in the public press that was both convincing and unbiased.
Keyword here is relatively. Then read the scientific press.
On the other hand, your response to my post was totally political. It was Bush this, Whitehouse that, Coal/Oil company’s payroll, etc, etc. It looks like you put my post through your environmentally biased filter and read something that I did not write. Frankly, I expected better.
Now it seems you should re-read my post!
I am perfectly willing to read unbiased scientific studies, opinions and debates on the issues that present both sides fairly. However, don’t send me one-sided articles from environmental lobbyists who are trying to push their political agendas.
Both sides? What both sides? How can there be two sides to a scientific consensus. As Salerio has pointed out, the facts stand on their own. There aren’t two sides in a debate. The science is clear. The fact that you entertain a notion of two sides speaks volumes (and also explains a great deal about your chosen tag line).
The suggested reading list contains books and articles from TRULY reputable scientists. There are no environmental lobbyists in the bunch.
Frankly I think you are providing evidence of why conservatives are going to be the bane of the world. Knee-jerk reactions. Wild assumptions before even looking at the evidence. Pure ideology.
Again I want to know, what is your point? If you do not contest global warming, then why complain about scientists not convincing the common man? What about you? If you can see the problem, why don’t you lift a finger to inform the common man?
Oh, by the way, did I mention that the mainstream news has its head up its *ss?
It is still my opinion that the resource contention conflicts are a much more near-term “real and present danger” than the potential global warming or environmental damage that might eventually occur.
And it is still my contention that regardless of whatever skirmishes ensue, that if the world is uninhabitable - in the long run - what the f**k difference does it make? And, if you ever get around to actually reading any of the analyses that I provided, you might find that the various resourse issues are, right now, being impacted by the effects of global warming. On the other hand, if you prefer to believe our president…
BTW, I predict that if and when I ever get around to telling you my proposed solutions to these difficulties, you will like them considerably less than you cared for my previous post.
Ohhhh. I can’t wait. For someone who seems not able to recognize the actual situation, the claim that he has a solution seems a bit bizzare.