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The most used arguement against global warming skeptics

  1. Mar 28, 2007 #1


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    The most used arguement against "global warming skeptics"

    The most used arguements seem to be:
    1:There is no debate on global warming
    2:There is a scientific consensus.

    How can you respond to that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2007 #2
    It depends on what you mean. If you mean there is no debate the earth is warming and there is a scientific consensus that it's warming, then skeptics usually agree.

    Although there are some who don't agree the earth is warming, and therefore they could argue there isn't a consensus that the earth is warming. They could also go on to say consensus is essentially meaningless just because some consensus positions have turned out wrong in the past.
  4. Mar 28, 2007 #3
    1: There is a great deal of debate, on the internet and from some newspaper columnists.
    2: There is a scientific consensus.
  5. Mar 29, 2007 #4


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    To which case do you refer? There are several: 1) questions from skeptics are taken by proponents of GW or AGW as statements that there is no global warming; 2) some subset of skeptics flatly state that there is no global warming; 3) some other subset of skeptics state that data are inadequate to support alarmist conclusions.

    Case 1 is the most common situation for PF discussions, and boils down to proponents arguing a "straw man" vs. questions that may or may not be as philosophically or intellectually dishonest. Case 2 is crackpottery, and the "strawman" from Case 1 is usually aimed at establishing Case 2 identification of the skeptic. Case 3? God forbid anyone on PF actually read and do the math for themselves; let's go with the "appeal to authority," claim no one here is qualified to apply physical principles to a physical system. The "appeal to authority?" Somewhere in P&WA, there's a thread on "consensus;" the OP refers to an NSF or AAAS study of a "random" selection of papers on climate in which papers taking a position on the question are selected (don't recall a percentage being reported), and the position was overwhelmingly "pro-GW." The "keyword" selection for the study included "GW," or its variants, rather than something more neutral. Face it, no one with a scientific background is going to present a hypothesis that there is no GW. Cain't be done --- what's climate? Just GMT? Or GMT plus average precipitation? Or plus average windspeed? Or direction? Pick enough, and climate's always changing, therefore, arguments denying climate change aren't terribly common in the literature.

    Misstatements of skeptics' positions as "denying climate change" do not lead to any useful discussion, nor are they particularly mature or scientifically honest rebuttals to questions or critiques regarding methods, quality of data, or strength of conclusions.

    So, how do you respond to "no debate" and "consensus" arguments? Ignore 'em --- sheep are sheep, always have been, always will be. Collies herd them. Judas goats lead them to slaughter. Wolves pick them off. Wool itches, mutton ain't edible, and they ruin pasture.
  6. Mar 29, 2007 #5


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    I was actually thinking about what a ridiculous mess that other thread is and plan to prune the non-productive drivel out, such as 1) "only a PHD in that particular field can form opinions, they cannot be wrong, unless their research disagrees with my beliefs, then they are crackpots. 2) People that have an opinion that don't have a PHD in the field are all crackpots. :rolleyes:
  7. Mar 29, 2007 #6
    Perhaps this kind of fallatic demagogery is backfiring more than we think. For those who understand Dutch a most excellent example here

    http://omroep.vara.nl/De_Leugen_Regeert.961.0.html [Broken]

    (go to the 23 march version of the-lie-reigns as of the time 20.40 )

    http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=4231765 [Broken]

    Two scientific editors are allowed to argue that the media should not give any attention anymore to the climate sketics, as the debate was supposed to be over, consensus..etc and the only objective of the 'deniers' being to seed confusion.

    And they were challenged at the spot by two other non-scientific- guests, well known in Holland and surrounding villages. They clearly considered the statement bunk.

    Today in the newspaper "Trouw" the columnist (f) Elma Drayer supported that view. "Vanwaar toch die malle verbetenheid" (Why this silly grimness) and she compares the attitude rather convincingly with religious cultural habits: believe the authority, don't argue. Her concluding sentences:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Mar 31, 2007 #7
    I haven't read too many posts that make those statements. I would say though, that

    1) Anyone can form opinions. Are you claiming that the opinions of PhDs and the opinions of self-taught amateurs are equally reliable? Curiosity and an open mind will lead any intelligent person to form opinions on all sorts of subjects. But these should be provisional opinions. Self-taught theorists who insist that the scientists are wrong remind me of the soldier on parade who thinks everyone is out of step except him.

    2) Having an unqualified opinion doesn't make one a crackpot. Nor does having a minority opinion. My definition of a crackpot would be a person who is uninterested in scientists' conclusions except for the purpose of defending his or her pet theories. See 1).

    To say "do your own research" is good advice if you mean to do some research for reasons of education or interest. If you mean "do your own research because then you'll know that the scientists are wrong", then it's quite frankly silly. We are a society of specialists. I don't do enough research to determine whether medical science is right about trans fats. I assume that it probably is, and eat accordingly. I didn't conduct any exhaustive tests on tobacco before deciding to quit smoking. The overwhelming majority of professional, accredited, climatologists doing paid research in that field, believe that global warming is largely due to greenhouse gasses caused by human activity. That single fact overwhelms all the research I could possible do.

    That isn't an "appeal to authority" fallacy, it's the difference between interest and crackpottery.
  9. Mar 31, 2007 #8
    There is no meaningful scientific debate going on at the moment. The scientific community has already moved on to remediation. Cities across the globe are already altering their development plans to meet the challenge of sustainability in the future.

    The only debate left is in the conservative media and even that is passing by the wayside because the skeptic's stories are old news, so unless another McKitterick comes along and finds another statistical error with a major study, the media debate is essentially over.

    BTW the denialist's won the media debate, but then, mother nature does not pay any attention to polls.
  10. Apr 1, 2007 #9
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  11. Apr 8, 2007 #10
    Although I have the greatest respect for the opinions of professional specialists, science has a long history of insightful amateurs overthrowing the professional consensus. And not winning many friends in the process.

    Which is why we should always address the science, not descend to ad hominem attacks - not that anyone has done so here, but it has been a feature of the wider AGW debate
  12. Apr 9, 2007 #11
    Abrupt Sever Cooling?

    As the planet appears to be starting to abruptly cool, due to solar changes, it is likely the debate will start up.

    A) Solar Changes (Go to Astrophysics in this forum. Solar Cycle Changes for more details.)
    The sun is currently spotless. Following 100 years, of the highest solar activity in 8000 years the sun appears to be moving to a Maunder like minimum. The 20th century warming was 0.6C. The cooling will be based on analogues with past events roughly 2C.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2..._longrange.htm [Broken]

    The following is an excerpt from the above link:
    The sun's "Great Conveyor Belt"

    And the first evidence of abrupt cooling:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070409/ap_on_re_us/cold_snap;_ylt=AlpKfjiuzyGlOIfxvVTS8qXMWM0F [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  13. Apr 9, 2007 #12
    Peter, a warm welcome from the local AGW sceptic resident. You could be quoting Thomas Kuhn in the first sentence.

    So if you'd followed the NERC discussions for instance or took note of dozen threads here you'd noticed that there is very little left about true AGW science. Therefore deluding with fallacies play a major role, not only the Ad Hominem, but certainly also the bandwagon, and twisting the scientific method (model=proof).

    Anyway in the popperian science there is only one refutal required for a hypothesis to be wrong. AGW can tolerate many refutals and just linger on.

    Some science:
  14. Apr 9, 2007 #13
    re: Andre/12

    I thank you for your warm (oops!) welcome. Perhaps an introduction is due.

    I cannot call myself an AGW sceptic. Quite the contrary - I believe we are
    25k-30k into the warming phase of a 100k Milankovitch cycle, so we have another 20k-25k years to go before we hit circular orbit again, at which time our climate will be significantly warmer than now, but by no means catastrophically so - otherwise neither we nor the poor polar bears (!) would be here now, nor would the ice cores we read for clues. During the remainder of this warm phase there will be several other shorter cycles of cooling and warming, but the long-term trend is inevitably more warming. We have some understanding of the major driving orbital cycle which varies total insolation and of the minor axial tilt cycles which redistribute insolation, but there is an undetermined number of other lesser but important influences of which we know little or nothing.

    My concern is that the current cynical politicisation of climatology is interfering with the important research which needs doing to understand these influences on our environment. Without deeper understanding it will be difficult to adapt our complex civilisation to new climatic conditions. It is also interfering with the important decision-making which is long overdue on energy sources and conservation of irreplaceable fossil resources (not necessarily for fuel) for future generations.

    On a more positive note, I believe we will muddle through eventually, with a lot of mistakes, to an understanding which will enable us to survive the next 30k years or so of warm climate and even the ensuing descent into the next ice age. I also believe that the global co-operation necessary to do so will be the making of us as a species.

    There. That is my "Climate Creed", those are my admitted prejudices. But show me good science, reproducible data, and I will renounce my heresy. I have no desire to burn at the stake.

    I am now retired. I am not a qualified scientist, but have had a successful career introducing new ideas and technologies to established industries, invariably in the face of their current accepted science, but always guided by my own knowledge of basic physics and chemistry, in which I was fortunate enough to be well educated. My hunches for 'what works' have had a 100% success rate - but I have always chosen my battles with care!

    And I think significant warming of Earth's environment by the 0.038% CO2 in the atmosphere is, indeed, the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the human race.
  15. Apr 9, 2007 #14
    Andre -

    P.S. - I am also an admirer of Kuhn !
  16. Apr 9, 2007 #15
    Climate & Solar Changes

    Attached is a link to NASA's May, 2006 news report that notes there has been a significant asymmetric reduction (drop of 25% in the solar northern hemisphere and a drop of 75% in the solar southern hemisphere.) in the solar polar conveyor. The solar conveyor is believed to control/drive the intensity and periodicity of the solar cycle.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10may_longrange.htm [Broken]

    See my above comment (sorry NASA link in that comment did not work) for a summary of the mechanism as to how solar changes affect the planet's temperature. The thread Clouds and Reflectivity provides links to papers and additional details.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  17. Apr 10, 2007 #16
    Great Peter,

    I hope the same is true for Karl Popper, there is an awful lot to falsify about the 100,000 years cycle. if you peek around here, for instance if you go to my profile after clicking on my name and select the option: "find all theads started by Andre", you may get an idea.

    One thing that we are pretty sure of is that the 100,000 years climate flips are not due to an instable positive feedback behavior, triggered by variation in insolation.
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