Global Warming goes to court

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drankin

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,337710,00.html

Al Gore is getting sued for fraud. This should be interesting. Now the debate is forced into the presentation of evidence suitable for a court of law. Will the outcome change the worlds mindset?
 
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I'm sorry, why would a court of law be some sort of high standard for evidence? It hardly cares about truth in any way. It's a game between two opposing parties.

All you have to do is implement the Wookie defense.
 
Pythagorean
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I'm sorry, why would a court of law be some sort of high standard for evidence? It hardly cares about truth in any way. It's a game between two opposing parties.

All you have to do is implement the Wookie defense.
to be fair, he was talking about "the world mindset". Not that I disagree with you, but to some the courts ARE a higher standard.
 
Ivan Seeking
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John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits.
So, first of all, Gore is not being sued, there is just some unqualified weatherman talking about suing him. He also said that there is no global warming per se, and that if Gore "knows" that carbon is not having an impact, then he should be held liable. In other words, he alleges intentional fraud by Gore about the essence of the science that is backed by the IPCC and that Gore received a Nobel Prize for publicizing. :rofl:

I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct.
John Coleman

Hmmmm, I wonder how many times I've heard this sort of thing in S&D. I may have banned him before... :biggrin:

I might add that actually reading DOZENS of papers and talking with NUMEROUS scientists may be going above and beyond the call of duty.
 
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drankin
I'm sorry, why would a court of law be some sort of high standard for evidence? It hardly cares about truth in any way. It's a game between two opposing parties.

All you have to do is implement the Wookie defense.

What? If a US court can't determine something to be final, who can? You? They will have all the experts stating providing their evidence, and the evidence, as given, will be judged objectively. What more do you want? What kind of debate would be acceptable to you?
 
russ_watters
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Courts are not designed to be arbiters of all disagreements, drankin. Science is best settled by the scientific community.
 
drankin
Courts are not designed to be arbiters of all disagreements, drankin. Science is best settled by the scientific community.
If the debate cannot be held by the scientific community to the point that everyone comes to a general consensus, then why not the tried and true US court system, russ?
 
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russ_watters
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Because the courts are simply not equipped to handle such issues. What does a judge know about climatology?
 
The verdict would carry about as much weight as Oprah's top 10 books ever list. Except tax payers would be paying for the list.
 
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If the debate cannot be held by the scientific community to the point that everyone comes to a general consensus, then why not the tried and true US court system, russ?
By the same token, we should have the courts settle which M-theory is correct, if any.
 
drankin
Because the courts are simply not equipped to handle such issues. What does a judge know about climatology?
That's what the "experts" are for. If something is "scientific" a court can't make a valid decision? That's rediculous. This is done every day. What the experts have to do is lay out the facts to their most basic premises. They have to break it down and show their evidence. If a particular side cannot support their case as well as the other then you have a decision that represents it. Like I asked, "What more do you want?"

All Al Gore has to do is lay out the facts.

The ID case was done in this way, the evidence was presented, a verdict was reached based on the evidence provided. I see no reason this cannot be done with the Global Warming debate in the same way. What would be a better forum?
 
The laboratory? Something about a scientific verdict bothers me. Can you imagine a judge saying that the next big theory is correct/incorrect? That's not how its supposed to work.
 
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drankin
The laboratory?
Could you point the way to a particular laboratory that could settle this debate? I'm sure there are countless scientist that would like to observe the results.
 
Unfortunately at this time I don't think there is one, and that's fine. I'd rather not know the answer than have some 'judge of the law' give me one, wouldn't you?
 
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drankin
The laboratory? Something about a scientific verdict bothers me. Can you imagine a judge saying that the next big theory is correct/incorrect? Thats now how its supposed to work.
All the suit would settle is if Al Gore based his information fraudulently I imagine. That's not really the point. The point is, get all the information together before an unbiased panel to filter and point one way or the other, or that no conclusion can be made at all. Regardless of the "judgement" we will all have the most conclusive information presented publicly and we can make up our own minds from the most persuasive arguments.
 
686
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If the debate cannot be held by the scientific community to the point that everyone comes to a general consensus, then why not the tried and true US court system, russ?
Look at the most serious court cases: rape and murder trials. A lot of the evidence is witness testimony and a lot of speculation. It's NOT by any means an episode of CSI.

Things that are accepted as evidence in court would get you beat up in a physics department. By all the nerdy professors.
 
Art
Gore's documentary has already been the subject of a court case in the UK with the result the judge found 9 serious errors of fact and so ruled that if shown to children in schools it must be accompanied by a warning and the counter arguments also must be presented. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7037671.stm
 
vanesch
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That's what the "experts" are for. If something is "scientific" a court can't make a valid decision? That's rediculous. This is done every day. What the experts have to do is lay out the facts to their most basic premises. They have to break it down and show their evidence. If a particular side cannot support their case as well as the other then you have a decision that represents it. Like I asked, "What more do you want?"
The problem is that "experts" are polarized now too. So depending on WHICH expert you pick, you know what he will say. This debate has come up several times here on PF already, but the SCIENCE of global warming is far less settled than proponents or opponents sometimes seem to claim: in other words, there is not such a thing as a complete and clear consensus in the scientific community as to what exactly happens, due to what causes and so on, like, for instance, in electrical engineering, just to take a silly example. That doesn't mean that there is nothing, either. But for the moment it seems that the "politically correct" word in climate science is to say that there will be global warming, caused by human effects. If you say that, you get grants, you get invited by politicians, tv-shows, and everything, while if you say the opposite, you are defending oil companies etc... From the moment that these issues get mixed into the position taken by a scientist (which is also a human being), one cannot count anymore on his neutrality. In other words, you won't find a NEUTRAL EXPERT. And so, according to how you set up your panel of experts, you can predict already what will be the outcome, but with a strong bias towards "global warming is humanly caused". Now, it is not because of this, that there is no such AGW ! But is not yet an indisputable scientific fact. It might not be there.

To prove a CAUSAL link implied by AGW, one needs to turn an OBSERVED correlation into a genuine cause-effect relationship. The observed correlation is that there is a slight increase in global temperature on one hand, and an increasing concentration of CO2 on the other. But one can find other correlations: there's a correlation between the increase in global temperature and the average processor speed of the sold personal computers over the year too.

Now, nobody is going to think that increased processor speed in PCs is causing global warming. There's a correlation, but not necessary a causal link. However, with CO2, it might. Then, one also has to indicate that this CO2 is *the cause* of human emission, and not the consequence of some global warming.

There are two ways to prove beyond scientific doubt that there is a cause-effect relationship in science, and neither has been achieved in AGW. The first one is an indisputable derivation of the relationship from well-known physical laws, which makes accurate predictions of the observed correlation, and which indicates the causality.

In other words, if one is able to model, using only known physical laws, precisely the warming of the earth that results as a consequence of an increase of CO2, then one can assume that the cause-effect relationship is demonstrated and even understood as a function of the used laws. Well, to my knowledge, that has never been done in this case. There are a lot of computer models, but they all need "phenomenology" like cloud formation, soil response, vegetation response and all that, and on these things there's so much uncertainty that you can "warm" or "cool" as you like. This is not to say that this is not a good approach, but the problem is simply very complicated.

The other way is experimental: if you can arbitrarily VARY the cause, and the effect remains correlated, you've also shown a cause-effect relationship. In order to do so, you should, say, divide by 10 human CO2 emissions, and wait long enough to see the "glitch" in the global temperature. This is probably the kind of experiment we're tempting in the 21st century, by trying to cut back on CO2 emissions for 30 years, wait for 40 more years, and compile the data :smile:

So the two approaches to indicating a causal link have not been applied beyond doubt. So you can't yet state with scientific "certainty" that AGW is true. Scientifically, there are *indications*, like the prediction of SOME models, and the observed correlation of CO2 and warming. But none of this is yet at the stage where the relationship has been scientifically proved without any reasonable doubt, like it is, for instance, concerning the prediction of the next solar eclipse, or the prediction of the current that will flow in a given resistor when exposed to a certain voltage or anything of that kind.

However, does it mean that we have to *dismiss* AGW ? It certainly would be reckless to do so. After all, the scientific indications that one has seem rather to go in the sense of it. This is probably why many scientists take on this attitude. Moreover, behaving AS IF AGW is true is a good thing, because this might induce humanity to seriously reduce CO2 emissions, which is necessary in any case to perform the 21-century experiment. One needs to convince people of the reality of AGW in order for the scientific experiment to be conducted in the first place.

So, the good attitude as a scientist is to tell Bob in the street that AGW is true, and that he urgently needs to cut down on CO2 production. This will allow the global experiment to be performed. However, within the scientific community, one should keep a reserved attitude as should every scientist before his experiment has shown any definite result :biggrin:
 
Art
Vanesch did you see the link in the other GW thread detailing the atomic absorption spectrum for CO2 and showing that AGW theory defies the known laws of physics? http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html Do you think this paper makes a compelling argument?
 
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vanesch
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Vanesch did you see the link in the other GW thread detailing the atomic absorption spectrum for CO2 and showing that AGW theory defies the known laws of physics? http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html Do you think this paper makes a compelling argument?
Well, I see one big blunder already:
We know that carbon dioxide in the air absorbs to extinction at its 15µM peak in about ten meters. The absorption distance of the two smaller peaks of shorter wavelength have not yet been measured ( that we can find in the literature), but extrapolation suggests an absorption path length in the neighborhood of no more than 300 meters. This means that CO2 does whatever it's going to do in a relatively short distance. Twice as much pure CO2 would do the same thing in about 5m for the 15µM peak. There's no significant difference between 5m and 10m or 300m and 150m for global warming, because convectional currents mix the air in such short distances. The "greenhouse effect" as far as CO2 is concerned is actually more of a "blanket effect". This is straightforward physics, and no, it's not debatable.

But the entire atmosphere isn't composed of CO2. In fact the current concentration in the atmosphere is only about 380 parts per million. It's what we call a "trace gas". So how much heat can our trace amounts of CO2 actually absorb? The math is simple: 8% ( or .08 ) x 380 PPM ( .000380 ) = .0000304, or about thirty millionths of the radiated heat.

Bear in mind, that's the maximum permissible absorption by all of the CO2 presently in our atmosphere. Man's percentage contribution is currently at about 3% of that. Now, let's see what the "man-made" contribution ( 3% of the total ) is. Again, multiply .0000304 x .03 = .000000912 . Let's round that up to the nearest single number and just say,
This is a totally erroneous estimation, for the following reason. If we consider the CO2 to be independent particles of the oxygen/nitrogen, then the total RATIO of (inert) oxygen particles to CO2 particles doesn't influence the absorption by CO2. In other words, there's strictly no reason to incorporate the FRACTION of CO2 in the overall estimation of the absorption. Imagine that, as he writes, 5 meters of (1 bar of) CO2 would be sufficient to absorb a specific line, which would mean, say, 8% of the entire output.
In that case ADDING extra oxygen/nitrogen, say 1000 bars, and then EXPANDING this to, say, 50 kilometers wouldn't change anything to the absorption, but in his calculation, one would diminish the absorption with the ratio 1/1000.

What counts, in radiation absorption, is the absorption cross section (a physical property of the molecule) times the total number of molecules "seen" by a beam of radiation per unit of transverse surface.

So what counts is the number of CO2 molecules in a column of 1 cm^2 for the entire height of the atmosphere. And we don't care how much OTHER stuff is in there.

That said, there are other points which are enlightening in the article...
 
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Why is there so much discussion about politics, bias and fallacies and so little about some elementary physical principles of climate processes or isn't it important enough to investigate a bit personally.

Moreover, behaving AS IF AGW is true is a good thing, because this might induce humanity to seriously reduce CO2 emissions, which is necessary in any case to perform the 21-century experiment. One needs to convince people of the reality of AGW in order for the scientific experiment to be conducted in the first place.

So, the good attitude as a scientist is to tell Bob in the street that AGW is true, and that he urgently needs to cut down on CO2 production. This will allow the global experiment to be performed. However, within the scientific community, one should keep a reserved attitude as should every scientist before his experiment has shown any definite result :biggrin:
I beg to differ, for one, the sake of a even bigger experiment, putting the thrustwortiness of science at stake. Second, actions based on a wrong reality perception are not only bound to go wrong but may even lead to a bigger disaster.

Suppose that AGW was wrong (as in a strong positive feedback amplified forcing of CO2) and the earth decides to enter another glacial period (which seems to be due) when we just had put a lot of sun ray shielding material in the Lagrange point between sun and earth to mitigate global warming?

What if global warming is true and the Earth decides to go into the next glacial period and we just have removed all excess CO2 which could have mitigated it?

Of course depletion of fossil fuel is the certain problem, but stressing on AGW scare may simply backfire. The urge to do things, now, we might be already too late and such leads to hasty unvalidated, untested http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/globalwarming.php [Broken]

If you want to have Bob in the street cut his energy footprint, then just say why. It may not be wise to trick him into it.
 
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vanesch
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Why is there so much discussion about politics, bias and fallacies and so little about some elementary physical principles of climate processes or isn't it important enough to investigate a bit personally.



I beg to differ, for one, the sake of a even bigger experiment, putting the thrustwortiness of science at stake. Second, actions based on a wrong reality perception are not only bound to go wrong but may even lead to a bigger disaster.

Suppose that AGW was wrong (as in a strong positive feedback amplified forcing of CO2) and the earth decides to enter another glacial period (which seems to be due) when we just had put a lot of sun ray shielding material in the Lagrange point between sun and earth to mitigate global warming?

What if global warming is true and the Earth decides to go into the next glacial period and we just have removed all excess CO2 which could have mitigated it?

Of course depletion of fossil fuel is the certain problem, but stressing on AGW scare may simply backfire. The urge to do things, now, we might be already too late and such leads to hasty unvalidated, untested http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/globalwarming.php [Broken]

If you want to have Bob in the street cut his energy footprint, then just say why. It may not be wise to trick him into it.

Ah, you don't like fun experiments, Andre ? :rofl: :biggrin:

At least it would settle the issue towards the end of the 21th century.

Concerning the hype, we've been there before: remember the Y2K bug that would stop the earth from spinning ? And contrary to you, I'm not convinced either way. In as much as I agree that there's much hype with the IPCC and that the science is over-sold, you cannot neglect that the case in the other way is not completely made either. The only way, as a true scientist, is to experiment and/or model until you know for sure. And, as most scientists know, sometimes you have to bluff a bit to get your project approved and financed. If you want to play with the entire planet, well, you might have to cheat a bit more, as this is extreme funding you're asking for.

In any case, AGW is not an ultimate problem, because if really it gets too hot, it is sufficient to build a few thousand "Tsar Bombas" (50 Megaton nukes with very little radioactive fallout), blow them up high in the atmosphere and cause such a nuclear winter as to freeze your d*** off for the next few decades. So the emergency airco exists :smile:
 
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Art
Well, I see one big blunder already:..
Thanks Vanesch, I've queried this with the author of the article if he responds I'll post his reply.
 
BobG
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That's what the "experts" are for. If something is "scientific" a court can't make a valid decision? That's rediculous. This is done every day. What the experts have to do is lay out the facts to their most basic premises. They have to break it down and show their evidence. If a particular side cannot support their case as well as the other then you have a decision that represents it. Like I asked, "What more do you want?"

All Al Gore has to do is lay out the facts.

The ID case was done in this way, the evidence was presented, a verdict was reached based on the evidence provided. I see no reason this cannot be done with the Global Warming debate in the same way. What would be a better forum?
There's a difference. Courts never decide a scientific debate. They do use scientific 'facts' as agreed to by a consensus of the scientific community to decide legal matters. (Or choose to toss out scientific evidence because there is no consensus within the scientific community that it is a fact.)

Even in that limited scope, the results can be unpredictable, especially if the case is put up to a jury. Try teaching calculus and physics to a jury.
 
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Crunch the numbers on how much volcano's forest fires and all the non-human things that cause deflection of the sun's ray's... i insure you that its far beyond what car's and coal stacks from china... and most of it stays low, as smog. The earth has been proven to go from stages of cold to hot... and were in the part were it will get hot. And here's a fact ( the amount of cows that are on earth, each cow lets off more gas that deflects the suns rays than a honda with in one day) cows are alive every second of every day. cars arnt.
 

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